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McLean County has just rounded out its first century of civilized life. 
During the autumn of 1922 there were held certain ceremonies com- 
memorating the Centennial Anniversary of the first settlements of the 
county by white men. From that distant time to the present, stretches a 
period of years marked by the most momentous events in the world's his- 
tory at large, and the entire recorded history of this county. In the space 
of less than four generations, the territory now comprising McLean 
County, has changed from an unbounded wilderness, y - ; z\ in potential 
greatness, but all undeveloped, into an e ..cent and a kingdom in 

wealth, prosperity, and the influence of its people. 

The history of the pioneer times of this county has been written pretty 
fully in years gone by by able men who were personally acquainted with 
its conditions and the men and women who made it. To these historians 
I am indebted for most of the facts connected, with the strictly formative 
period of the county. They include E. M. Prince, Capt. J. H. Burnham, 
Prof. Duis, publisher of "Good Old Times," Prof. John W. Cook and many 
others who have passed to their reward, and to E. Rhoads, custodian of 
the McLean County Historical society and its officers, and to Milo Custer 
of the Central Illinois Historical society. Especially have the records and 
relics of the McLean County Historical society museum been of value in 
this connection. 

It is hoped in presenting this work to bring the history of the county 
down to date and to make note of many of the modern phases of life and 
its people. We put it forth and commend it to the charitable judgment 
of our contemporaries and of future generations. 

Jacob L. Hasbrouck. 
Bloomington, 111., May 1, 192 A. 

89 ! 949 


Abbott, J. E. 598 

Adams, Ira D. 816 

Agle, George 407 

Aldrich, Carlon Cook 1281 

Aldrich, Frank W. 1280 

Alexander, W. D. 1218 

Allen, Mattie 1164 

Allin, William P. 903 

Allison, Frank 649 

Ambrose, Edward 665 

Anderson, James G. 772 

Anderson, Millard F. 1044 

Anderson, William 673 

Arbogast, W. J. 565 

Argo, H. H. 865 

Armstrong, DeWitt T. 1243 

Armstrong, Russell 926 

Armstrong, Van 654 

Arnold, Noah A. 833 

Arnold, Scott 1203 

Arrowsmith, E. H. - 1240 

Ashabran, J. W. - 614 

Atkinson, Charles 780 

Augustine, Archie M. 448 

Augustine, Henry 449 

Augstin, Daniel 881 

Ausmus, Jessie Ross 970 

Bach, William R. 851 

Backlund, Andrew O. 1009 

Baillie, Charles Tuffer 436 

Ball, John S. 594 

Bane, G. E. 1127 

Bane, Russel W. 813 

Barclay, John W. 867 

Barker, Charley 826 

Barley, Frank C. 974 

Barnard, Austin Y. 1059 

Barnes, J. H. 1295 

Barnes, John L. 1234 

Barniville, Robert 1253 

Barton, John 1191 

Barton, R. W. 1012 

Batterton, Roy W. 534 

Bean, Sidney B. 580 

Beatty, Estell 1245 

Beck, John A. 1219 

Beckwith, John Wesley 606 

Beich, Paul F. 845 

Beier, Olliver 1230 

Belcher, Albert W. 434 

Beller, Andrew 824 

Benedict, George 1229 

Benjamin, A. P. 1067 

Benjamin, Frank W. 862 

Benjamin, Timothy 571 

Bent, Horatio G. 520 

Bevan, Harry H. 1003 

Bilbrey, Allen 817 

Bingham, W. S. 1140 

Bischoff, Albert 550 

Bishop, D. D. 538 

Blair, Moses 579 

Blose, Frank H. 446 

Blue, William 1190 

Bode, William H. 899 

Bohrer, Jacob A. 483 

Bracken, William K. 808 

Brady, John 775 

Brady, R. J. 739 

Braley, Theodore A. 584 

Brand, Edward Parrish 472 

Branson, John 959 

Bressie, Albert J. 963 

Britt, John C. _. 1116 

Brock, Enoch 498 

Brokaw, J. T. 1158 

BroLeen, David A. 462 

Brown, Allen 542 

Brown, C. C. 1195 

Brown, Charles S. 755 

Brown, G. H. 829 

Brown, George E. 633 

Brown, J. T. 1098 

History of McLean County 

Broyhill, George C. 527 

Bruce, W. H. 1014 

Brucker, Charles 1238 

Brust, Pliney E. __, 1257 

Buck, Thomas Lee 904 

Buckles, Elizabeth M. 1090 

Builta, Fred C. 1254 

Builta, George A. 1256 

Builta, Mary E. 1255 

Builta, Roselia Jane 1255 

Bunney, J. T. 1259 

Burdett, Arthur L. 1065 

Burke, C. B. 1286 

Burnham, John Howard 1261 

Burns, Willard 1253 

Burr, Hudson 732 

Burbank, E. H. 818 

Burtis, Willam T. C. 661 

Busby, George W. 771 

Butler, Harry 1209 

Cantrell, Thomas D. 412 

Capen, Charles L. 507 

Carlock, Horace Burton 878 

Carmody, Edward J. 910 

Carnahan, A. G. 518 

Carroll, Edward J. 1207 

Carson, G. M. 1134 

Carson, N. B. 470 

Cavins, Lester B. 1058 

Chaddon, Roy 839 

Champion, George 549 

Champion, Thomas Ellis 424 

Chapin, Charles E. 624 

Chapman, P. A. 964 

Chism, Perry 842 

Chrisman, Edward W. 991 

Claggett, R. T. 650 

Cline, Noah W. 596 

Claudon, David Nicholas 717 

Claudon, J. H. 1215 

Claudon, Jesse D. 719 

Coale, Benjamin 1005 

Colaw, William 952 

Cole, John C. 1027 

Conery, James 1244 

Cooksley, Isaac 1087 

Copenhaver, J. H. 1137 

Coss, Leander 1115 

Costello, James J. 1173 

Cowan, F. C. 1119 

Cox, Ernest E. 770 

Coyle, A. L. 923 

Craig, Ebenezer 1099 

Creel, Charles 435 

Crookshank, John A. 1194 

Crowder, Herbert W. 1247 

Crowley, James A. 834 

Crumbaugh, Hiram H. 1076 

Cunliffe, Arthur 599 

Curley, Michael J. 998 

Curry, Bernice 944 

Curtis, T. 735 

Dahm, Louis 605 

Dalton, John H. 913 

Danforth, Henry P. 1166 

Darnall, Warren C. 1290 

Dauel, Louis W. 460 

Daugherty, Albert E. 1048 

Davidson, George Allen 1249 

Davidson, John B. 1250 

Davis, David 793 

Davis, George Perrin 792 

Davis, Judge David 257-791 

Davis, Leta C. 415 

Davis, Mercer 794 

Davis, Sam E. 1273 

Davis, William Osborn 1179 

Dawson, O. F. 680 

Dawson, Thomas A. _, 642 

Deetz, Clarence 831 

Deleno, William 814 

Dement, Nettie Bills 621 

DePew, Earl Russell 908 

Diggle, H. E. 953 

Dillon, Adolphus 938 

Dooley, George E. 1184 

Dooley, Lue 1103 

Dooley, O. M. 1102 

Dotson, Charles 1114 

Douglass, E. B. 1172 

Douglass, O. Vaughan 907 

Downey, M. R. 776 

Downey, Thomas M. 1004 

Downs, Edward S. 582 

Duncan, Charles M. 918 

Dunlap, M. 1189 

History of McLean County 

Dunlap, Oliver W. 496 

Dunn, Richard F. 973 

Eckhart, George 766 

Edwards, Ralph O. 987 

Edwards. William H. 672 

Ehlers, Fred 822 

Elbert, N. L. 806 

Elson, Elmo 687 

Engle, W. F. 437 

Enright, Thomas, Jr. 758 

Erickson, A. G. 906 

Erickson, Edwin 1007 

Evans, Charles Thomas 1001 

Evans, E. M. 1063 

Ewins, Chester R. r - 873 

Eyestone, F. A. 525 

Farlow, Lawrence Edgar 406 

Farmers Bank of Chenoa 1221 

Feicht, John 441 

Felmley, David 488 

Ferguson, Wilbert 947 

Fever, William H. 762 

Ficken, C. H. 796 

Fielding, James 781 

Fincham, Palmer 795 

Finley, Stephen A. 653 

Fischbach, Frank 950 

Fisher, Frank Crist 1168 

Fisher, Joseph 860 

Fissel, August 548 

Fitchhorn, Marshel 875 

Fitzgerrell, D. G. 486 

FitzHenry, Louis 1036 

Fitzpatrick, John F. 1192 

Flegel, Robert 1091 

Fleming, Florence Sample 1062 

Flesher, E. L. 864 

Flesher, Harry E. 613 

Fletcher, Joseph A. 821 

Flinspach, George 1129 

Flinspach, Henry 812 

Flint, Charles A. 1142 

Foltz, Clarence 759 

Forman, Louie 1074 

Forrest, John B. 1252 

Foster, Harrison 805 

Foulk, F. S. 574 

Fox, Asa L. 398 

Fox, Ralph D. 397 

Franklin, Bertram Adolph 471 

Franklin, Noah 656 

Franklin, Wesley P. 638 

Froehlich, W. E. 726 

Fulton, Albert 1262 

Fulton, James 858 

Funk, Deane N. 898 

Funk, Eugene D. 1069 

Funk, Frank H. 1054 

Funk, John 901 

Gaddis, James 835 

Garrison, Guy L. 1106 

Garretson, W. P. 511 

Gerbrick, Marcus 887 

Gerken, William A. 752 

Gerling, L. C. 1125 

Giermann, Paul F. 519 

Gillespie, C. J. 710 

Gillespie, Frank M. 936 

Gillespie, James Frank 478 

Gillespie, Park C. 480 

Goff, Fred W. 543 

Golden, Mayo 1153 

Gomien, Amos 787 

Gooch, De Witt R. 1146 

Goodwin, John A. 784 

Gose, Charles William 1133 

Graves, Arthur J. 578 

Graves, Clinton E. 856 

Gravett, Clarence M. 892 

Gray, De Witt G. 939 

Gray, George T. 940 

Gray, John W. 986 

Green, Benoni S. 744 

Green, H. W. 978 

Green, Tracy 524 

Greenleaf, Paul E. 421 

Gregory, Ira 750 

Griesheim, Wolf 402 

Griffin, F. C. 1122 

Griffin, Wyett P. 933 

Guard, Ed 1086 

Guild, Cliff 492 

Guingrich, J. P. 1010 

Gummermann, John B. 1051 

Guthrie, Parmeno A. 1035 

History of McLean County 

Habecker, J. N. ._ 871 

Hall, Calvin Springer 712 

Hall, Homer W. 847 

Halsey, Alexander 1068 

Hamilton, Clair O. 444 

Hamilton, Franklin Young 444 

Hamilton, O. C. 5< 

Hanna, George Stipp 736 

Hanson, Charles P. 468 

Hanson, Frank O. 942 

Harris, Glenn C. 1233 

Harris, John C. 872 

Hart, Edson B. 625 

Hart, Harlan H. 627 

Harwood, Thomas F. 601 

Harwood, Thomas Fitch 602 

Harwood, Willis S. 600 

Hasbrouck, Jacob Louis 1185 

Hatfield, John H. 954 

Havens, Hiram 669 

Hawks, Joseph, K. P. 626 

Hawthorne, William H. 678 

Hay, Louis C. 632 

Hayden, Thomas J. 562 

Heafer, Edgar M. 1080 

Heagler, Francis H. 1237 

Healy, Cornelius 685 

Heberling, George C. . 431 

Heineman, A. F. 849 

Heiple, J. R. 922 

Henderson, Albert F. 457 

Henninger, E. L. 537 

Hensley, Alexander 641 

Herder, Charles 609 

Herman, James M. 1258 

Hersey, Lynn E. 1016 

Higdon, Ernest Eugene 1050 

Hill, William 592 

Hilpert, John W. 1112 

Hilton, Guy A. 877 

Hilton, Jacob N. 576 

Hoblit, H. K. 477 

Hogben, Frederick D. 840 

Holland, Edward 1053 

Holton, Campbell 493 

Holton, Thomas T. 504 

Hoopes, Albert Harwood 1055 

Hoose, Oscar G. 535 

Hopt, Peter 967 

Hoselton, J. C. 508 

Hougham, F. B 1266 

"Hougham, James A. 868 

Hougham, R. L. 1203 

House, C. M. 962 

Houston, Louis 1265 

Howell, Harry Lee 426 

Howell, Vinton E. 439 

Hudson, J. Heber 475 

Huffington, Glenn 555 

Hughes, C. R. 757 

Hughes, Clinton B. 481 

Humphreys & Company, J. H. 1270 

Humphreys, Howard 1269 

Humphreys, John F. 1268 

Humphreys, Rogers 1270 

Humphries, Paul A. 924 

Humphries, William 663 

Hutson, Austin L. 900 

Hyneman, L. F. 617 

Iden, Joseph H. : 1079 

Ijams, W. M. 855 

Illinois Feed and Elevator Co 530 

Irwin, S. P. 563 

Jacobs, J. H. 1130 

Jacobs, John 715 

Jefferies, John 581 

Jenny, M. E. . 651 

Jenson, James 1154 

Johnson, Charles 1245 

Johnson Family, W. C. 1073 

Johnson, Howard K. 1045 

Johnson, Lyford McChesney 1232 

Johnson, Robert R. 1046 

Johnston, John S. 646 

Joiner, C, E. 1093 

Jones, Bennie 1275 

Jones, F. E. 1095 

Jones, R. G. 1024 

Jones, Robert E. 644 

Jontry, James E. 677 

Kahle, Edward and Walter 937 

Kauffman, Carey F. 891 

Kaufman, Elmer 741 

Keady, Alex 539 

Keeran, Elmer 1214 

History of McLean County 

Keiser, Henry 705 

Kelly, James S. 1221 

Kelly, H. W. 1174 

Kelso, George B. 1088 

Kennedy, T. F. 788 

Kennedy, Thomas 400 

Kennedy, Walter 1117 

Keogh, W. 595 

Kerber, Edward __: 1246 

Kerber, Fred 827 

Kerr, Charles Roy 681 

Kerrick, Thomas C. 394 

Kilgore, Thomas B. 616 

Killian, John C. 1015 

Kimball, Caroline F. 515 

Kimler, R. E. 977 

King, Austin 927 

King, J. H. 1025 

Kinnie, J. S. 972 

Kinnie, Sage H. 971 

Kinsella, C. W. 896 

Kinsella, Michael 911 

Kinsella, Thomas H. 965 

Kinzinger, E. A. 866 

Kirkpatrick, Jonathan H. 1211 

Kitch, John A. 1020 

Klassen, John H. 721 

Klein, John 768 

Klein, Phillip 943 

Klemm, C. W. 467 

Klemm, Julius P. 466 

Koch, Caroline T. 1057 

Koch, Christian F. 1056 

Kollman, John 1202 

Kranzusch, Frank A. 963 

Krieg, Simon 1105 

Krum, E. P. 1227 

Krum, -Guy S. 1226 

Krum, R. S. _- 1224 

Kruse, Albert 815 

Kuhn, Bert Marley 547 

Kummer, Harry C. 1006 

Kyle, O. A. 487 

LamBeau, V. E. J. 912 

Lander, Robert W. 870 

Langstaff, John L. 631 

Lanter, Enos I. 551 

Lanier, E. B. 854 

Larrison, G. B. 1019 

Lasky, W. E. 1170 

Lauritson, Louis 1122 

Lausterer, William F. 830 

Lawrence, C. B. 1264 

Lawrence, Gilbert 786 

Lawrence, N. P. 1111 

Leary, Daniel D. 1282 

Leech, Robert K. 443 

Lehmann, Joseph A. 459 

Lehr, Adam 773 

Lighthart, Frederick 843 

Lillard, John T. 469 

Lindheimer, Horace G. 916 

Lindsay, Calvin G. 1167 

Lindsay, W. C, Jr. 621 

Lindsay, W. C, Sr. 619 

Livingston, Milton R. 491 

Livingston, S. P. 660 

Long, William G. 648 

Lord, Marcus M. 676 

Lorig, John M. 789 

Lundgren, Harlan O. 799 

Lyons, E. S. 980 

Lyons, U. S. 798 

McBarnes, John 1026 

McCann, B. H. 1040 

McCarty, Francis A. 988 

McClure, Marion L 463 

McClurg, Logan 591 

McConnell, William M. 1085 

McCormick, Ferdinand C. 541 

McCormick, Henry G. 564 

McCormick, Nelson K. 983 

McDowell, Samuel Kline 528 

McElvaney, Robert B. 1204 

McFee, Pulaski 1128 

Mcintosh, William 783 

Mclntyre, Allan 1148 

McKinney, Alonzo 510 

McKnight, William W. 554 

McLean, Richard Warren 993 

McNaught, Joseph B. 664 

McNutt, James C. 920 

Magill, L. M. 630 

MaGirl, P. H. 1279 

Mahan, Edward Curtis 662 

History of McLean County 

Manahan, John W. 1126 

Manchester, Orson L. 500 

Mandel, Oscar 1096 

Maple, Frank 674 

Marius, M. H. 1022 

Markland, Lucien 711 

Marquis, DuBois 957 

Marsh, John 1123 

Martens, E. C. 533 

Martens, E. W. 526 

Martensen, John 1163 

Martin, Lester H. 534 

Masso, Charles 917 

Masso, Emil 933 

Maurice, Thomas W. 1272 

Means, W. C. 429 

Meeker, Edward B. 1165 

Meiner, George H. 1049 

Merritt, E. M. 1156 

Messer, Frank 670 

Messer, John L. 763 

Meyer, Albert W. 1144 

Meyer, Frederick 1145 

Mikel, John 573 

Miller, A. B. 869 

Miller, Frank I. 1131 

Miller, George H. 413 

Miller, Henry N. 885 

Miller, Samuel 968 

Miller, William R. 596 

Minch, Frank P. 994 

Moews, Andrew 961 

Moncelle, Charles 667 

Moon, John 1052 

Moore, Eldo M. 1276 

Moore, L. W. 634 

Moore, Palmer Q. 440 

Moore, William H. 804 

Morrison, Jacob E. 536 

Mortland, W. E. 1198 

Murphy, Isaac 1110 

Murray, Paul 1106 

Murray, Peter E. 583 

Murray, Thomas P. 1033 

Musselman, Wallace J. 1171 

Myers, Clarence 1107 

Nafziger, August 897 

Naylor, William 828 

Neal, Rolla Basil 552 

Neuhauser, Edwin V. 740 

Newlin, Clayton J. 1023 

Nickel, Victor L. 675 

Oberkoetter, Frank 1176 

Oberkoetter, Frank 1177 

Oberkoetter, Henry • 1178 

O'Connell, Richard M. 1175 

O'Donnell, James F. 1152 

Ogden, Albert S. 659 

Ogden, Frank 968 

Olander, Barney L. 1236 

Oliver, Marion 1101 

Olson, Ola 1120 

O'Neil, Daniel M. 560 

O'Neil, Daniel P. 561 

Owens, John B. 540 

Packard, Francis A. 611 

Parham, Nellie E. 482 

Parke, George W. 588 

Parker, James William 422 

Patton, Claud C. 1231 

Patton, H. Bert 419 

Patton, Tilden M. 628 

Paul, Lee P. 1251 

Paullin, William Arthur 1271 

Peasley, Granville 1048 

Peasley, Isaac N. 960 

Peck, Charles 921 

Percy, John S. 1075 

Pershina, Rudolph 684 

Peters, Harry H. 417 

Peterson, Albert Wilhelm 1160 

Peterson, Paul 1222 

Petrie, Frank H. 566 

Pickering, Oscar 825 

Pierson, Arthur Van Dyke 640 

Pike, E. M. 946 

Pike, Noah H. 679 

Pitzer, S. J. 819 

Piatt, William E. 657 

Poole, L. D. 966 

Popejoy, Isaac 802 

Porter, Families of James and Ra- 
chel 544 

Powell, Frank 797 

Prather, J. W. 589 

History of McLean County 

Preston, George 1283 

Price, C. N. 1135 

Price, Scott 995 

Priest, George W. 652 

Pringle, Ralph W. 969 

Punke, Gustave 848 

Quinn, M. F. 1032 

Ramage, M. F. 597 

Ramseyer, M. L. 671 

Ransom, Charles E. 658 

Reece, John Stewart 909 

Reeder, Samuel James 863 

Reeves, Gilbert 754 

Reynolds, Elzy 782 

Reynolds, Herman L. 1191 

Reynolds, Shepard 607 

Rhoades, Aaron P. 1101 

Rhoades, Ora M. 1100 

Rice, Frank M. 522 

Rice, Joseph F. 461 

Rich, Joseph S. 747 

Rich, Silas 751 

Richardson, Matthew 1021 

Rike, W. W. 820 

Richmond, Joseph E. 464 

Rigby, Delia H. 568 

Riley, James F. 608 

Rinkenberger, John F. 749 

Rinkenberger, Samuel 748 

Risser, Peter 1104 

Ritchie, Robert 1157 

Ritter, W. H. 1235 

Robinson, James Edwin 512 

Rocke, John 1136 

Rocke, Jacob 716 

Rodee, Hiram A. 1178 

Rodgers, John W. ___„ 497 

Rodman, Oscar O. 428 

Roeseler, Adolph 767 

Rogers, Arthur E. 425 

Rogers, Walter C. 1124 

Rolofson, John J. 454 

Romans, John P. 935 

Ropp, Walter A. 882 

Ross, Oscar F. 836 

Rowley, Charles Smith 742 

Rupp, Andrew Oliver 745 

Rusmisell, H. L. 1042 

Rust, Thomas J. 1008 

Russum, C. H. 1060 

Ryburn, Edward 1072 

Sager, Edgar 668 

Sailor, Daniel D. 880 

Salch, H. M. 1205 

Sample, Alfred 1061 

Sams, Le Roy R. 837 

Sandham, Grant 949 

Sargent, Alonzo 603 

Sarver, Lloyd 683 

Savidge, Asa M. 997 

Saxton, J. F. 1248 

Saxton, W. F. 1109 

Schad, W. D. 1016 

Schausten, Julius 490 

Schmidt, Henry 861 

Schmitt, John 1228 

Schramm, William 1018 

Schultz, L. J. 832 

Scott, John T. 1151 

Scott, Walter A. 1118 

Seibel, Oscar E. 1213 

Sellers, George M. 1200 

Settle, W. H. 955 

Shade, C. W. 984 

Sharp, Benjamin 725 

Shaver, John 637 

Shields, John P. 466 

Shiner, John D. 1174 

Sholty, Jacob 1077 

Sholtey, L. W. 1289 

Shorthose, Frank E. 432 

Sieberns, Walter H. 733 

Simmons, Aaron Trabue 1043 

Simpson, Ed F. 1267 

Skaggs, O. P. 1029 

Sloan, Edwin P. 720 

Slown, J. M. 738 

Smith, Charles C. '. 777 

Smith, Dudley Chase 556 

Smith, George J. 618 

Smith, Grace Sealey 1277 

Smith, J. E. 1138 

Smith, John R. 416 

Smith, L. H. 643 

Smith, Robert T. 823 

History of McLean County 

Smith, William A. 639 

Snoddy, David L 1121 

Snyder, D. W., Jr. ... 414 

Sommer, J. C. 1149 

Soper, Clinton P. 728 

Soper, Horace A. 731 

Soper, Willard Burr 729 

Spafford, Ralph 499 

Spaid, John W. 1197 

Springer, David V. 1143 

Springer, William H. 890 

Stack, John J. 451 

Stautz, William A. 610 

Steele, B. W. 590 

Steele, Hazel -- 724 

Stephenson, C. A. 494 

Stephenson, John H. 1028 

Stevenson, Adlai E. 255 

Stevenson, Letitia Green 930 

Stevenson, Lewis Green _ 928 

Stewart, John H. 979 

Stewart, Walter R. 753 

Sticklen, H. W. 810 

Stine, H. D. 1155 

Stone, Hal Marot 484 

Stoppenbeck, Fred 1066 

Strange, Algy F. 989 

Strayer, L. B. 615 

Strimple, William O. 604 

Strubhar, Valentine 459 

Struebing, H. C. 1150 

Stubblefield, David R. 1208 

Stubblefield, Henry B. 996 

Stubblefield, Joseph W. 570 

Stuckey, Homer 756 

Stutzman, David M. 951 

Stutzman, U. G. . 883 

Summerland, Hannah McBarnes 1210 

Supple, Frank 844 

Sutter, Joseph 915 

Sweet, F. C. 1013 

Sweeting, Frank E. 1064 

Swinehart, George 888 

Sylvester, Thomas 456 

Talbert, John C. 990 

Tanton, T. O. 761 

Taylor, J. Earl 925 

Tearney, James 1034 

Teter, Ralph 859 

Thielman, August 1171 

Thiss, Charles 807 

Thomas, Charles 442 

Thomas, S. Edgar 1274 

Thompson, A. B. 1159 

Thompson, D. W. 1196 

Thompson, Orris M. 1092 

Tilden, William W. 433 

Tobias, Arthur H. 458 

Tobias, James F. 458 

Townley, Wayne C. 514 

Trautman, John A. 1206 

Trimble, Charles Edwin 1287 

Trimmer, D. F. 635 

Trimmer, Manfred J. 655 

Trimmer, Walter Havens 941 

Trohler, Henry i 746 

Troyer, Emmanuel 886 

Truckenbrod, J. C. 1169 

Tyner, Arthur P. 914 

Ulmer, George 1241 

Ulmer, H. B. 1162 

Umstattd, Charles F. 1260 

Van Alstyne, H. C. 774 

Vandervort, Franklin Cady 410 

Van Dolah, James W. 765 

Van Ness, Sidney B. 893 

Vansickle, Charles C. 1147 

Vaughan, Hugh 682 

Vaughan, John G. 919 

Vercler, Elmer A. 723 

Vrooman, Carl S. 800 

Wait, Guy F. 975 

Wakefield, Cyrenius 408 

Wakefield, F. L. 876 

Walden, Wayne 1196 

Walker, Frank Albert 575 

Wallis, William 982 

Walsh and Sons 447 

Ward, J. F. 760 

Ward, J. R. 1201 

Washburn, Frank L. 567 

Watchinski, Joseph A. 948 

Watt, Lawrence 934 

Webber, Raymond 1119 

History of McLean County 

Weeks, Alferd S. 1277 

Weeks, Vernon 1239 

Welch, C. W. 1284 

Welch, Henry A. 577 

Welch, William Henry 623 

Weldon, Lawrence 501 

Wells, Matthew B. 1199 

Wernsmann, Fred 778 

Wersch, A. W. 1257 

West, Simeon H. 1216 

Westhoff, F. W. 553 

Wheaton, Lewis C. 645 

Whitehouse, Carl E. 603 

Whitesell, Ray 1188 

Whitmer, Leroy G. 418 

Whitmore, W. W. 506 

Whitney, W. H., Jr. 916 

Wiley, J. J. ___■ 992 

Williams, Arthur Rowland 453 

Williams, Chesler C. 976 

Williams, E. C. 1002 

Williams, Robert E. 529 

Wilson, C. T. 727 

Wilson, David 1223 

Wilson, Frank L. 1030 

Wilson, James 666 

Wise, Frank C. 636 

Wissmiller, Frank 1000 

Wochner, Adolph 1220 

Woodard, B. F. 838 

Woodmancy, George W. 895 

Yarrington, Wesley 1141 

Yolton, John L. 399 

Youle, Frank B. 1161 

Youle, George 1285 

Young, Edward V. 465 

Young, George K. 734 

Young, H. L. 999 

Young, Miles K. 1278 

Young, William B. 958 

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Adams Branch, Scene on 104 

Adams, Ira D. 816 

Anderson, Millard F. 1044 

Arrowsmith, Mr. and Mrs. James A. 1240 

Augustine, A. M. 449 

Augustine, Henry 448 

Beller, Andrew 824 

Bellflower, High School at 176 

Bent, Horatio G. 520 

Blooming Grove Marker 81 

Bloomington High School 169 

Bracken, William K. 808 

Braley, Theodore A. 584 

Brand, Rev. and Mrs. E. P. 472 

Britt, Mr. and Mrs. John C. 1116 

Brokaw Hospital 321 

Buck Memorial Lihrary 185 

Buck, Mr. and Mrs. T. L. 904 

Builta, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick 1256 

Champion, Thomas E. 424 

Chapin, Charles E. - 624 

Chenoa School Building 120 

Colaw, William and Amos 952 

Consistory Building 33f> 

Country Club 104 

Court House 6.i 

Crumbaugh, Amanda M. 1077 

Crumbaugh, J .H. L. 1077 

Crumbaugh, Residence of Mr. and 

Mrs. Hiram H. 1077 

Curry, A. Bernice 944 

Davis, David 793 

Davis, Judge David 257 

Davis, George P. 792 

Dawson, O. F. and Family 680 

Dooley, George E. 1184 

Dooley, Rose L. West 1184 

Downey, M. R. 776 

Dunlap, Oliver W. 496 

Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. William H._ 672 

Fairview Sanitorium 331 

Fell Memorial Gateway 192 

Felmley, David 488 

Fisher, Frank C. 1168 

FitzHenry, Louis 1063 

Fitzpatrick, John F. 1192 

Flesher, E. L. 864 

Forrest, John 1252 

Franklin, Noah 656 

Gerken, William A. 752 

Gillespie, Frank M. 936 

Gillespie, Park C. 480 

Goodwin, John A. 784 

Graves, Clinton E. 856 

Green, Benoni S. 744 

Hall, C. S. 712 

Hall, Rachel S. 713 

Halsey, Mr. and Mrs. Alex. 1068 

Hanna, George S. 736 

Harris, John C. 872 

Hart, Edson B. 624 

Hart, Harley H. 624 

Harwood, Thomas F. 600 

Harwood, Thomas Fitch 600 

Harwood, Willis S. 600 

Hasbrouck, Jacob L. Frontispiece 

Hawks, Joseph K. P. _■ 624 

Hay, Louis C. 632 

Heafer and Company, Edgar M. 1081 

Heafer, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar M 1080 

Hill, Dr. and Mrs. William 592 

Hilpert, Mr. and Mrs. John W. 1112 

Hilton, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob N. 576 

Holton, Thomas T. 504 

Howell, Vinton E. 439 

Illinois State Normal University 192 

Illinois Wesleyan, North Building.. 185 

History of McLean County 

Illinois Wesleyan, Main Building--- 185 
Indignation Meeting — 1865 152 

Johnson, Dr. L. M. Hospital 1232 

Jones, R. G. 1024 

Keiser, Henry '05 

Kelso, George B. 1088 

Kennedy, Thomas 4 00 

Kerrick, Thomas C. 394 

Kickapoo Indian Fort Marker 96 

Kilgore, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B.__ 616 

Klein, John 768 

Koch, Christian F. 1056 

Krum, Mr. and Mrs. R. S. 1224 

LamBeau, V. E. J 912 

Lawrence, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. 1264 

;,eRoy, High School at 176 

Lexington Public School 120 

Long, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. , 648 

McBarnes Memorial Building 373 

McCann, B. H. 1° 40 

McDowell, Samuel K. r 528 

McFee, Pulaski and Family 1128 

McNemar, Sarah E. ^ 4 

McNutt, J. C. 92 ° 

Main Street, Bloomington 128 

Mandel, Oscar 1° 96 

Maurice, Thomas W. 1 272 

Meadows Manufacturing Company— 1136 

Meyer, A. W. U44 

Miller Park Views 368 

Miller, Samuel 969 

Moon, Mr. and Mrs. John 1052 

Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Q. 440 

Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. 536 

Neal, Mr. and Mrs. Rolla B. 552 

Normal High School 175 

Oberkoetter, Frank H76 

Oberkoetter Frank, Sr. 1176 

O'Donnell, James F. H 52 

Olson, Ola and Family 1120 

O'Neil, Mr. and Mrs. D. M. 560 

Patton-Pierson House 72 

Peasley, Granville and Family 1048 

Peasley, Isaac N. 960 

Peterson, Albert W. 1160 

Pierson, Arthur Van Dyke 640 

Porter, James and Rachel 544 

Public Buildings, Bloomington 240 

Punke, Mr. and Mrs. Gustave 848 

Quinn, M. F. 1032 

Rhodes, O. M. 1100 

Richmond Family, Joseph E. 464 

Rigby, Delia H. 568 

Riley, James F. 608 

Risser, Mr. and Mrs. Peter 1104 

Risser, Residence of Peter __ 1104 

Robinson, James Edwin 512 

Rocke, John 1136 

Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley H 1124 

Russum, C. H. _. 1060 

Rust, Florinda Bishop 1008 

Rust, Thomas J. 1008 

Ryburn, Edward 1072 

Sailor, Daniel D. 880 

Saxton, J. F. and Family 1248 

Schad, W. D. 1016 

Schultz, Residence of L. J. 832 

Sellers, George M. 1200 

Service Flag, Dedication of 296 

Shade, C. W. 984 

Shorthose, Frank E. 432 

Sloan, Edwin P. 720 

Smith, John R. 416 

Smith Library, Lexington 357 

Soldiers Orphans Home Gymnasium 361 

Soper, Clinton P. 728 

Stanford Community High School 180 

Stevenson, Adlai E. 256 

Stevenson, Letitia Green 928 

Stevenson, Lewis Green 928 

St. Joseph's Church, Chenoa 840 

St. Joseph's Hospital 319 

St. Patrick's Church 1193 

Stubblefield, Mr. and Mrs. D. R 1208 

Sweeting, Frank E. 1064 

Swinehart, Mr. and Mrs. George 888 

Sylvester Family, Thomas 456 

History of McLean County 

Thompson, O. M. 1092 

Trotter Fountain 352 

Umstattd, Residence of Charles F._1260 
Vrooman, Carl 800 

Wakefield, Cyrenius 
Ward, J. F. 


West, Martha O'Neal 1216 

West, Simeon H. 1216 

Wiley, J. J., and Residence 992 

Williams, C. C. 976 

Wissmiller, Jacob 1000 

Withers Public Library 352 

Y. M. C. A. Buildi 



History of McLean County 




Two airplanes sailed over central Illinois, 100 years apart in time. 
Of course, the first of these was purely mythical, for there were no air- 
planes in the world 100 years ago. But imagination can serve as the pilot, 
and when the plane hovers over the territory which is now McLean 
County, we can picture in our minds the scene as the pilot would have 
seen it. As far as the eye could see, only stretches of prairie, broken 
here and there by the thread-like line of the streams and the darker 
patches of woods or groves. Just at the edge of Blooming Grove could 
be seen a curling column of smoke from the cabin of the first one or two 
white families who had settled there. More distant, another column of 
smoke from the wigwams of the Kickapoo Indians at the edge of what 
we call Old Town timber. Perhaps up toward the Mackinaw river might 
have been seen faint outlines of a camp of Delawares, last remnants of 
their tribe, and to the northwest the last camp of the Pottawattamies. 
No road or highway crossed the vast stretches of the prairie, but sloughs 
or ponds at intervals marked the undrained depressions in the landscape. 



66 History of McLean County 

Wild animals roamed at large, but over the scene brooded a strange 
silence, as of expectation of the coming of the white man to take charge 
of this domain. 

The second airplane, pausing in mid-air in the summer of 1923, saw 
nestling beneath him, beautiful and busy Bloomington, county seat of a 
populous and well-cultivated county. Just north lay embowered Normal, 
and as the eye of the pilot explored the more distant scene, he saw clus- 
ters of houses marking the site of the many villages and towns — Hudson 
to the north, Danvers and Carlock west, Shirley and McLean to the 
southwest, Heyworth to the south, Downs and Leroy southeast, Say- 
brook and Arrowsmith to the east, Cooksville and Colfax to the north- 
east, and Chenoa, Lexington and Towanda to the further north. Cross- 
ing the scene at many places were the well-defined roads, many of them 
paved, along which rolled hundreds of motor cars. Twin lines of rails 
marked the course of the steam and electric railroads, along which trains 
passed at frequent intervals. Between the railroads, highways and towns 
lay hundreds of farms, with their golden grain harvests just ready for 
the reapers, with their flocks and herds browsing in the pasture lands. 
Large bar»ns and comfortable houses denoted the habitations of a well- 
fed rural population, and school houses at intervals indicated the means 
of their enlightenment. The whole picture was of a contented and pros- 
perous empire where once the wilderness existed. 

The part of Illinois now comprised in McLean County was and is 
one of the most fertile sections. It is composed of rich black alluvial soil, 
on which for thousands of years before it was settled by the white man 
had grown luxuriant crops of prairie grass. The wide spaces of open 
prairie were broken here and there by more rolling sections of land bor- 
dering along the streams, and at intervals there were groves or small 
forests of native trees, oaks, elms, hickory and other varieties. The 
prairie grass would grow from six to eight feet in height in the more 
watered sections. Some of the lands, on account of the lack of drainage, 
would in the wet seasons assume almost the character of swamps. The 
rank growth of grasses gave rise to great danger of prairie fires in the 
fall of the year when the season was dry. If started by some accidental 
means, even by the lightning, there was no way of stopping their spread 
until the white settlers grew numerous enough to offer some serious 
resistance. Great stretches of the prairie lands were often left black and 

History of McLean County 67 

barren after the sweep of these fires. The fires would also invade the 
timber and cause the destruction of thousands of trees. 

The land was not without its inhabitants even before the white set- 
tlers came. There were thousands of wild creatures who lived on the 
prairies, in the groves or along the streams. These were deer, wolves, 
rabbits, raccoons and probably even bear in the more distant times. 
Numerous kinds and numbers of wild birds furnished a sort of compan- 
ionship for the white settlers when they first came. But they also fur- 
nished a more practical assistance in the form of game and the wild meat 
which the settler secured with his guns and traps was his chief supply 
of that kind. 

There were human beings here also long before the white settlers 
arrived. These were the Indians who roamed over these prairies and 
haunted the woods. There are today traces of Indian villages in some 
parts of the county, notably in the vicinity of Arrowsmith and in West 
township. The tribe of the Kickapoos were the most numerous in this 
immediate vicinity. They formed the first neighbors of the white 
settlers, and from the time when the first families of whites located in 
the county, until the Indian tribes finally disappeared from the scene, 
there was never any scene of bloodshed resulting from collisions of the 
two kinds of races. Machina, known as Old Machina, was the name given 
by the white men to the great chief of the Kickapoos who inhabited this 
region at first. He was pictured as a real chief in stature and bearing. 
He never displayed any great hostility toward the whites in the form of 
violence, but soon after the first families came to Blooming Grove he 
appeared at the settlement one day and gave them warning in his sym- 
bolic language that they must leave the country soon. This he did by 
throwing leaves into the air and letting them fall, indicating that the 
whites must not remain after the leaves on the trees should fall in the 
autumn. The warning was not heeded, and Old Machina was obliged to 
accept his fate. After the final dispersal of the Kickapoos from central 
Illinois, some people of the tribes settles in the west, and it is said that a 
remnant of the tribe remains there to this day. 

In addition to the Kickapoos which inhabited this part of the country, 
there were detachments of tribes of the Delawares and the Pottawato- 
mies. The Kickapoos, who were living in what is now McLean County 
when the white settlers came, removed here from the vicinity of Danville 

68 History of McLean County 

after a treaty in 1819 gave that territory to whites. The Indians estab- 
lished a village on the Mackinaw River 17 miles northeast of the present 
site of Bloomington. 

Four localities in McLean County are notably connected with Indian 
history. One is in Randolph Township; one in Arrowsmith, known as 
the Indian battle ground; a third in West, known as the Kickapoo fort; 
and the fourth in Lexington township, where was a small Indian town 
as late as 1829. In this latter village, according to tradition, were Indians 
from the three tribes of the Kickapoos, the Delawares and the Potta- 
watomies. A Kickapoo chief, known as Ka-an-a-kuck, was famous for 
his religious exhortation, having become a Christian under influences of 
some religious sect in the East. 

About 1828, the Kickapoos who had been living in McLean County, 
removed their headquarters to a point within the present boundaries 
of Livingston County, where they erected a council house and village on 
the east side of Indian Grove. In 1830 they removed again, to Oliver's 
Grove, known as Kickapoo Grove, where a census showed 630 souls, men, 
women and children. In 1832, the government moved the remnants of 
the tribes to a place west of St. Louis. The remnants of the tribe are! 
still in Kansas, where they were visited a few years ago by Milo Custer, 
a local historian, who collected valuable information concerning their 
present ways of life. 




It was four years after the state of Illinois had been admitted to the 
Union, that the first white families came to make their homes in that part 
of the state now known as McLean County. The state had only 45,000 
people within its confines when it sought admission to the Union in 1818. 
At that time the settlemens were all in the southern part of the state. 
Vandalia had been made the state capital and also the county sea of Fay- 
ette County, which then included a large territory stretching far up into 
the central portion of the state. 

John Hendrix and John M. Dawson with their families came west 
from Ohio in the fall of 1821 and settled in Sangamon County, which 
included the present area of McLean County. The following April, 1822, 
they moved northward, and reaching a beautiful grove of timber decided 
to build themselves cabins. This was the beginning of the settlement of 
Blooming Grove, about four miles southeast of the present site of the city 
of Bloomington. 

One can imagine the hard conditions under which these first settlers 
lived. Mr. and Mrs. Hendrix were the first white couple to build a home 
in the Grove. Mr. Dawson came with them, but left his family in Sanga- 


70 History of McLean County 

mon County. There was a man named Segar also in the party. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hendrix became parents of eight children. They lived on the farm 
where they first settled until their deaths. The Hendrix place afterward 
became the property of 0. H. P. Orendorff. When Mr. Dawson finally 
brought his family to Blooming Grove, he settled on a farm afterward 
owned by David Cox. John Hendrix was a native of Virginia, and John 
W. Dawson was a native of Kentucky. They met in Ohio prior to their 
migration to Illinois in 1821. 

The little colony at Blooming Grove formed the whole world in this 
vicinity, so far as white men were concerned. There were no other houses 
north of this settlement until Chicago were reached. A few men engaged 
in digging salt at where Danville now stands, and a few miners near 
Galena composed all the northern Illinois settlements. 

Reports from this part of the country having drifted back to the 
older settlements, other pioneers soon began to arrive. Gardner Randolph 
and family came in December, 1822. In the spring of 1823, John Benson, 
a soldier of the war of 1812, came with his family and lived in a linn bark 
hut at the Grove. In the same year, the Stringfield family, consisting of 
the widow and her sons, Severe and Alfred, settled at what is now known 
as Randolph Grove. 

Isaac Funk and Absalom Funk came to this county in 1824 and set- 
tled at the timber which became known as Funk's Grove. William and 
Thomas Orendorff came to Blooming Grove the year previous. Then 
there was an old Quaker, Ephraim Stout and his son Ephraim, Jr., settled 
at what became known as Stout's Grove. Robert Stubblefield and his 
family and Thomas 0. Rutledge were among the other arrivals at about 
this time. 

The year 1825 saw many accessions to the McLean County settle- 
ments. Rev. Peyton Mitchell came to Stout's Grove in March, and in the 
fall of the year Jonathan Cheney made a settlement at the Grove now 
called Cheney's Grove. William Evans, Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes and Rev. 
James Stringfield were others who arrived at the Blooming Grove settle- 

These early settlers had to live the simple life. They had to go as 
far as Attica, Ind., to get their grain milled. They lived largely on game 
and milk from their few cows, with some little flour which they ground 
from corn. Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes had erected a mill in the year 1825. 

Breaking the tough prairie sod with the crude plows of that day was 

History of McLean County 71 

no child's play. It required five or six yoke of oxen to draw the plow. 
The settlers raised their own wool and flax and wove their own cloth. 
The wolves were the chief enemy of the sheep. Large bounties for wolf 
scalps were offered by the settlers, and at last the legislature also offered 
rewards for killing these beasts. If the settlers succeeded in raising a 
number of cattle, they had to drive them to market at Pekin, Peoria or 
Chicago. From the very first, the Funk family were the largest cattle 

The name for the first settlement came about in a natural way. 
There were many flowers blossoming in the Grove, and Mrs. William Oren- 
dorff suggested that it be called Blooming Grove. Thomas Orendorff and 
John Rhodes in letters written about this time first gave the name to the 
settlement. One story is' to the effect that previously it had been called 
Keg Grove, because the Indians had found a keg of whiskey there. 

Between the years 1823 and 1830 there were many other settlements 
made in various parts of what is now McLean County. In August, 1826, 
the Trimmer family arrived and located at Smith's grove. Jacob Spawr, 
who afterward became one of the oldest men in the county, at first lived 
with the Trimmers. 

During the early summer of 1827, Stephen Webb, William McCord, 
George and Jacob Hinshaw settled either at Blooming Grove or Dry 
Grove. Matthew Robb and Robert McClure came to the county at the 
same time, settling at Stout's Grove. In 1828 the Francis Barnard and 
the Henline families settled on the north of the Mackinaw river on Hen- 
line creek. The Conger family settled near Stout's Grove the same year. 

The year 1830 saw important accessions to the county settlements. 
Jesse Havens settled at a grove near where Hudson now stands and which 
became known as Havens Grove. Benjamin Wheeler also settled there. 
Most of the early settlers chose the timber tracts for settlement, owing 
to their natural protection from storm, wild animals and Indians. At 
that time nobody thought the prairie would ever be settled up at all. 

From the earliest days, the population of McLean County has been 
known for its strong and substantial character, its religious cast, if you 
please. This may be due in large part to the sterling qualities of the first 
settlers. John Hendrix was a deeply religious man, and the first church 
services held in this county were held at his home, conducted by Rev. 
James Stringfield. Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes, the first minister who settled 
at Blooming Grove, in 1824, soon organized a congregation or eight per- 

72 History of McLean County 

sons who held regular meetings and formed the first organized church in 
this county. 

In the earlier settlement of this state there was a class of immigrants 
who formed a floating population. They never stayed long at any one 
place. They drifted about seeking the easiest places to eke out a preca- 
rious livelihood. This class of settlers did not find much welcome in the 
Blooming Grove neighborhood. Messrs. Hendrix, Dawson and the others 
wanted men and women of substantial character to come and live here, 
and these always found genuine welcome and what help could be afforded 
them in getting established. By the time of the organization of the 
county government, there were several hundreds of families, nearly all 
of this solid and substantial character. 

So near to nature did the early settlers live;that the weather was one 
of the governing factors of their lives. Therefore any great natural phe- 
nomenon was recorded in their memories. One of these great red letter 
events was the deep snow of the winter of 1830-31. The weather during 
the fall had been dry and so continued until late in the winter, with mild 
temperature. But in the latter part of December there came a snow the 
.like of which none of the settlers had ever known. It snowed from four 
to six feet deep all over the landscape. The settlers were literally penned 
in their cabins, and could do little but grind their corn to eat and keep 
their wood fire burning to keep warm. A great deal of stock was frozen 
to death. Deer grew tame, and wolves came to the settlement for pro- 
tection and to scout for food. Stories of the "deep snow" formed a stock 
in trade for reminiscences by the old settlers until all the generation who 
had remembered it had passed away. In the spring of 1831, when the 
snow melted, the whole country was covered with sloughs and ponds. 

Another of the natural phenomena which created a lasting impres- 
sion on the early settlers was the big freeze of December, 1836. The 
weather had been mild, with rains following the snows, changing to slush. 
One afternoon the temperature dropped 60 degrees in a few hours, fall- 
ing from 40 above to 20 below zero. The country assumed the aspect 
of the arctic regions. Stock and men alike who were caught out in the 
storm were frozen to death if they were unable to reach shelter. Chick- 
ens were frozen fast in their tracks, and great suffering resulted to man 
and beast. 

The families who first settled this county came here with little or 
no money. In spite of this fact, with their own hands they wrung from 


History of McLean County 73 

the soil and their surroundings enough of the actual necessities to keep 
them in fair comfort, although they lacked all of what we consider today 
the luxuries of life. They provided food and shelter, clothing and some 
means of transport. They traveled long distances on horseback or with 
a crude wagon to get their wheat or corn milled and to barter for or buy 
the other necessities of their lives. Owing to the constant danger of 
prairie fires, they never left their homes without the fear that when they 
returned they would find their fields, houses and barns a mere blackened 
waste. And yet they lived on and built up here this great community 
of civilized and educated people of McLean County today. 

And yet the people of the early settlements, especially the young 
people, had their amusemeaits of the kind that their circumstances af- 
forded. There were no theaters, clubs, daily papers, magazines, or li- 
braries. The people therefore sought most of their pastimes in the great 
outdoors. Horse racing was the favorite sport for the men, since nearly 
every family had horses, and it was an event when the young men met 
to test the speed of their favorite animals against each other. Foot-racing 
by the men themselves, wit hwrestling, boxing and other athletic pas- 
times furnished diversions from the hard everyday life of the pioneer. 
There was no baseball in those days, no schools with their football and 
basketball teams; no coaches nor uniformed teams in various lines of 
athletics as there are today. Life in sport as well as in everything else 
was of a simpler sort in the early days of the county. 

For the women, dancing and other indoor games were the pastimes 
of most popularity. Whole neighborhoods would come for miles to at- 
tend a dance, and some of the young people of that day developed re- 
markable skill and grace in waltzing, quadrille, Virginia reel and other 
forms of the dance. Spelling bees and singing schools were also of com- 
mon occurrence. 

Hunting was indulged in both for the sport of it, the chase and to 
furnish meats for the families. Deer, wild turkey, geese and ducks, 
quail, and prairie chickens were common among the food animals; while 
wolves, foxes, wildcats and other "varmints" were killed to rid the settle- 
ments of their destructiveness. Many times a large wolf hunt was or- 
ganized, and the really dangerous beasts were rounded up a«id killed in 
numbers. The advent of the railroads took away the truly pioneer char- 
acter of the country; made communication more rapid and convenient, 
and began the modern era of the county. 




Tazewell County had been formed from part of the vast area orig- 
inally comprised in Sangamon County. By the year 1830, there were 
many small settlements in this immediate vicinity, and the people began 
to talk about forming another county of their own. Mackinawtown was 
the county seat of Tazewell, and the people there were opposed to cutting 
off any of the territory from Tazewell. But one of the young men who 
had come here in 1829, James Allin by name, became the leader in the 
movement for forming a new county. He with others circulated the 
petitions addressed to the legislature asking permission for organizing 
the new county. When finally signed by numbers of settlers, the petitions 
were taken to Vandalia, the state capital, by Thomas Orendorff, James 
Allin and James Latta. The speaker of the house at that time was Wil- 
liam Lee E. Ewing, who took an interest in the proposition. After sev- 
eral days of waiting, Mr. Ewing called Messrs. Allin, Orendorff and Latta 
into his room and asked them what name they would have for their 

Hendricks was suggested in honor of Mr. Hendricks of Indiana. But 
it was decided not to name the county after any living man. Finally the 
name of McLean was suggested, in honor of John McLean of Shawnee- 
town, who had been speaker of the house, member of Congress and United 


History of McLean County 75 

States senator. The bill then organizing the new county with the name 
of McLean was passed by the house of the legislature in the morning of 
one day, and by the senate in the afternoon. 

It is interesting to trace the origin of the political unit of McLean 
County from its very beginning. By the year 1824 there were 40 or 50 
families living in the vicinity of Blooming Grove, but they were over 
100 miles from the county seat at Vandalia, and there was no voting 
place near. Consequently, no one of the settlers cast his vote at the elec- 
tion of 1824 when the slavery question was at issue in this state. As 
the election of 1826 drew near, the people of this region agitated for a 
voting precinct in their neighborhood. It was accordingly created and 
named' Orendorff precinct. This was the germ of the future county of 
McLean. At the session of county commissioners of Fayette County in 
March, 1826, it was decided that all that part of the county north of 
township 17 shall compose an election district, and that William Oren- 
dorff, John Benson and James Latta were named judges of election there. 
William See and W. H. Hodge were clerks of the election. The area of 
the precinct was enormous, taking in all of the present McLean County, 
part of DeWitt and Piatt, also territory north to the Wisconsin line, the 
latter mostly unsettled. The Blooming Grove settlement was the most 
important between Vandalia and the Wisconsin line. 

Settlements grew in number and population from 1826-27 and espe- 
cially after the Indians had bee nremoved from the county in 1829 and 
the prairie lands began to be settled. In the year 1827 Tazewell County 
was organized with Mackinawtown as its county seat. The western row 
of townships, Danvers, Allin, and Mt. Hope, belonged to Sangamon until 
Tazewell County was formed. In June, 1827, the Tazewell board of super- 
visors created an election precinct called Blooming Grove precinct and 
embracing territory east of the third principal meridian and north of 
township 22, which would include all of the present county east of the 
Danvers-Mt. Hope strip. The first election here was held at the house 
of John Benson, county treasurer. Population continuing to grow in this 
region, the number of families residing in the territory of the present 
county had grown to 350 by the year 1830. There were 350 votes cast 
at the election that fall in the precinct. Many of the leading men of the 
time then began to talk of forming a new county, for they saw that the 
immense territory of Tazewell County could not always be held together 

76 History of McLean County 

as one political unit. It was at this time that James Allin came here, he 
being a young man of much push and having been county commissioner 
of Fayette County in the years 1823-25. Allin therefore at once agitated 
the forming of a new county and establishing a county seat at or nsar 
Blooming Grove. A petition was therefore circulated and largely signed, 
and sent to Vandalia, the state capital, in December, 1830. Thomas Oren- 
dorff and James Latta took the petition to Vandalia, and Allin furnished 
them letters to prominent men at the capital, Mr. Allin himself being 
unable to go. The law creating McLean County was passed by the legis- 
lature on December 25, 1830, and commissioners were appointed to go to 
the neighborhood and select the site for the county seat, which should 
be known as Bloomington. This month was the month of the historical 
"deep snow," and on that account the site committee did not make the 
trip until the following spring. When it did finally make the journey of 
inspection, the committee selected a part of the tract of land which James 
Allin had entered from the government, having first obtained the rights 
therein of William Evans, a former claimant. This was at the north 
side of Blooming Grove, where James Allin had already established a 
store. It is said that the settlers in the grove itself did not care to have 
the new village located in their vicinity. John McLean, for whom the 
county was named, had died just the previous year, hence his name was 
then prominently honored by Illinois people. 

The original boundaries of the county as formed when the bill was 
passed were these: Bounded on the north by the Illinois river; on the 
east by range six east of the third principal meridian; on the south by 
the township line of township 21 north ; on the west by range One west of 
the third principal meridian. 

In 1898, the McLean County Historical Society erected in the east 
corridor of the courthouse in Bloomington, a very handsome memorial 
tablet in honor of John McLean, for whom the county was named. This 
tablet contains the following inscription: "1791-1830. In Memory of 
John McLean, of Shawneetown, Illinois, for Whom This County was 
Named. First representative in Congress, 1818; U. S. Senator 1824-25 
and 1829-30. Erected by the board of supervisors and McLean County 
Historical Society, Dec. 6, 1898." 

The business of McLean County was first transacted by a board 
of three commissioners. Their first meeting was held May 16, 1831. The 

History of McLean County 77 

members were Jonathan Cheney, Timothy B. Hoblit and Jesse Havens. 
Isaac Baker was appointed first clerk of the commissioners' court, and 
held the office for many years. The first tax levy was one-half of one per 
cent. This was a small levy, but the settlers were poor, and the tax was 
no light matter for payment. Thomas Orendorff was first treasurer of 
the county, but the money that he handled would be considered a laugh- 
able quantity at the present time. Of the first commissioners, Cheney 
came from Cheney's Grove, Hoblit represented the Waynesville neighbor- 
hood, now in DeWitt County, and Havens came from Havens' Grove, in 
the northern part of the county. 

Five voting precincts were formed from the territory of the county: 
Kickapoo precinct, in the southwestern part, comprising some of the terri- 
tory of the present Logan and DeWitt Counties ; Salt Creek precinct, the 
eastern portion of the county ; Bloomington precinct, taking in the county 
seat and territory to the west and north ; Mackinaw precinct, covering an 
immense tract which was sparsely settled, including Lexington, Money 
Creek and north of the Mackniaw river to the north county line; lastly 
Panther Creek precinct, mostly in the present area of Woodford county 
and extending down to Stout's Grove and Danvers. There were 2,016 
sections of land in the county, which comprised at that time approxi- 
mately 1,290,000 acres. After various tracts had been cut off the county 
from time to time, its area was narrowed down to 1,166 square miles, or 
1,068 sections, about one-half its original area. 

For the first 18 years of the history of the county, from 1831 to 
1849, the commissioners' form of government prevailed. In addition to 
the first three commissioners, the names of men who served in this ca- 
pacity while the form of government prevailed included Andrew Mc- 
Millan, Seth Baker, Joseph Bartholomew, William C. Johnson, James R. 
Dawson, William Orendorff, Nathan Low, John B. Jones, William Cona- 
way, Jesse Funk, William Bishop, Henry Van Sickle, Ezekiel Arrowsmith, 
Israel W. Hall, and James Van Dolah. At the adoption of the constitu- 
tion of 1848, there were two forms of county government provided in 
Illinois. One was the County Justices' Court, consisting of three judges, 
one probate and two associates; or the people of any county could by 
proper adoption on popular vote take on the system of township organiza- 
tion. The southern section of the state generally used the county com- 
missioners' form of government, having taken it from the southern states, 

78 ' History of McLean County 

whence most of the settlers came. In northern and central Illinois the 
township form was more popular. 

Some items from year to year taken from the official records of the 
commissioners' court of McLean County serve to designate the progress 
which the county was making in population and other material interests. 
Much of the business of the commissioners' court during the earliest 
years was connected with the laying out of roads, as this was one of the 
first requisites of the new settlements. As early as July 27, 1831, on 
petition of Jacob Spawr and others a road was laid out from Rook's place 
on the Vermilion River past Money Creek, Sugar Creek at a point north 
of Bloomington, through Randolph Grove and Long Point to the south 
line of the county. In the January term, 1832, a road was laid out from 
Bloomington to Funk's Grove. In the March term a road from Bloom- 
ington southeasterly to the county line. 

To give an idea of the small total of property values in the county 
in the early years it may be stated that the total revenues of the county 
for the year 1829 were $1,061.89, and the expenses $898.53. At the March 
term of 1832 the county levied a tax of one-half per cent on the following 
property: All horses, mules, meat cattle three years old, town lots, sheep 
one year old, pleasure carriages, wagons, household property, watches 
and all distilleries. The county taxes collected for 1832 were $2,313, 
and the assessor was paid the sum of $40. An interesting item of busi- 
ness for the December term, 1832, was the appearance of John Scott, 
Ebenezer Barnes, and William McGhee and making application for the 
privilege of proving themselves to have been Revolutionary soldiers. After 
due investigation, the court confirmed their declarations as true. The 
same was done in the case of Thomas Sloan. 

A matter of business indicative of the crude mercantile methods of 
that day was the application before the county commissioners of a num- 
ber of men who applied for license to sell goods. These men were James 
Allin, M. L. Covell, John and Samuel Durley, and Benjamin Haines. The 
merchant of the early times carried a miscellaneous collection of articles 
such as he thought would supply the needs of the pioneer. When he 
wanted to replenish his stock, he would go among his neighbors and try 
to collect enough of their outstanding debts to at least pay his expenses 
on a trip to Pekin or St. Louis, which he made partly by wagon and partly 

History of McLean County 79 

by boat. Chicago in those days was little known or patronized by McLean 
County people. 

In the March term, 1833, a license was granted to Greenbury Lari- 
son for $5 to keep a tavern in the town of Bloomington. This same term 
levied a tax of one-half per cent on all personal property and town lots. 
The first instance of granting public aid to the poor was in the case of a 
girl by the name of Maryann King, who was 8 years of age, and she 
was bound as an apprentice to the house of Gervis Gaylord until s 7 ie 
should reach the age of 18. 

New election precincts were formed at the June term, 1833, and 
election judges were named. At the March term, 1834, it was reported 
that the total amount realized from the sale of lots in the town of Bloom- 
ington was $963.92i/ 2 . 

In March, 1835, a permission was granted to George W. Wallis to 
erect, under certain restrictions, a milldam and mills on the Mackinaw, 
and to Tebulan G. Cantrill and Metthew McElhiney each a permit to build 
a mill on the Kickapoo. The sheriff was, authorized at this session to 
rent the court house for a school house under certain restrictions, at $3 
per month. The taxes for the year 1835 were reported as $1,241.4214. 

The first case on the county records of advertising for public bids 
was that of the October term, 1835, when the court was directed to insert 
in the "Illinois Republican" a notice that proposals would be received for 
the erecting of a court house 40 feet square two stories high, of brick. The 
county treasurer was authorized to pay for this little "adv." 

New towns were springing up at this time, as evidenced "by the fact 
that in December, 1835, a plat of the village of New Castle was presented 
to the county commissioners by Timothy B. Hoblit and James Allin, and 
of the town of Leroy by Asahel Gridley and M. L. Covell. Applications 
for license to sell goods in Leroy was made by John W. Baddely; in 
Waynesville by David Duncan and R. Post, and in McLean county by A. 
Gridley, Ortagal Covell and Calvin Carpenter. The county commissioners 
appointed Thomas H. Haines their attorney to effect a loan of $5,000 at 
not to exceed 8 per cent interest, in preparation for the building of a 
court house. 

From 1850 to 1857 the discussion of the question of what form of 
county government should prevail in McLean was waged with intensity. 

80 History of McLean County 

Three elections on the question were held, one in 1850, the second in 1856, 
and the third in 1857. In the first two, the proposal for township organ- 
ization did not receive a majority of all the votes in the county, although 
it received a majority of all votes cast in each case. The discussion was 
brought to a head by the act of the County Justices' Court in 1857 in 
donating $70,000 worth of swamp land for the location of the State Nor- 
mal University in this county. This land had been given the county by 
the federal government, and up to that time its disposal was a matter 
of uncertainty. The county court's liberal offer of this land was the de- 
ciding factor in the location of the Normal University, but when the prof- 
fer to give this land for the purpose was made, it stirred much discussion, 
and many people thought the county court had exceeded its authority. 
The action of offering the land was done in secret session, so as »not to 
let the chief competitor, Peoria, know of this liberal donation. Although 
this secrecy was much criticised, the action was ratified by the first meet- 
ing of the board of supervisors after county reorganization was adopted. 
The final vote on township organization was taken on Nov. 3, 1857, and 
stood as follows: For township organization, 2,109; against township 
organization, 786; majority in favor, 1,323. 

The last meeting of the old County Court was held in March, 1858, 
and the new form of township organization was perfected at the elections 
in April, when supervisors were elected from the various townships which 
had been created. This board met on May 17, 1858. 

Several changes of the names of the townships have been made since 
they were first organized in 1858. Savanna township has been changed to 
Downs; Leroy is now Empire; Lee was changed to Padua; Kickapoo to 
West, in honor of Henry West; Pleasant to Arrowsmith; Prairie to Bell- 
flower; Mosquito Grove changed to Allin, in honor of James Allin, the 
pioneer; Padua changed to Dawson, in honor of John Wells Dawson: 
Cropsey was divided into two townships, and the new one was named 
Anchor, the division being made in 1877. Chenoa was divided in 1863, 
the new township being named Union, which was afterward changed to 
Yates, in honor of Richard Yates, the Civil war governor of Illinois. 


of m 





A condensed story of the early settlement and development of the 
various townships of McLean County, together with the founding and 
incorporation of the towns and villages is told as follows: 

Allin Township. — Originally this township was called Mosquito Grove, 
in honor of one of the three groves which were located there. On May 
3, 1867, the name was changed to Allin, in honor of James Allin, the pio- 
neer. The groves were Mosquito, Brown's and Brooks' groves. With the 
exception of these, totaling 1,400 acres, the township was prairie land. 
The first settler was Miles Brooks, in whose honor the grove was named. 
William Brown was the man after whom the other grove was named. 
Mosquito Grove was early inhabited by a family by the name of Reddon, 
a notorious band of outlaws and horse thieves who were supposed to be 
one link in the chain of such characters which stretched across Iowa and 
Illinois. Robert Stubblefield at one time caught one of the Reddons red- 
handed with stolen horses and he was indicted and convicted. At an- 
other time Isaac Funk, Robert Stubblefield, John Stubblefield, Ebenezer 
Mitchell and others made a midnight call at the Reddon home looking for 
stolen horses, but found none. It was after a famous murder of one Co?. 
George Davenport at Rock Island, with which the Reddon gang was sup- 
posed to have had some hand, that the decent people of the neighborhood 
decided to rid the community of them, which was effectively done by a 



82 History of McLean County 

"ring hunt" which had the desired effect and scared the men away, never 
to return. 

Stanford, the town located in Allin township, was laid out by John 
Armstrong in 1867 on the Jacksonville branch of the Alton road, and was 
incorporated as a village. It was first called Allin, but the name was 
changed to Stanford. The town is among the richest in the county, hav- 
ing two general stores, a fine school house, one bank, two implement and 
hardware stores, three elevators, and many other places of business. For 
many years Stanford has maintained a fair which attracts many people 
every autumn. The population is about 700. 

Anchor Township. — This township is practically all prairie land, and 
it remained unsettled for many years after other parts of the county were 
populated to more or less extent. R. M. Rankin entered the first lands 
in Anchor townshi pin August, 1850, and Robert Cunningham was the 
second claimant in 1851. Robert Stackpole settled in the township in 
1853 and bought a tract of over 2,300 acres. He incurred large expenses 
for fencing and other improvements, and crops failed for a year or two 
after, her started farming, hence his lands were sold for debt about the 
time of the Civil war. Anchor township was first a part of Cropsey, but 
in 1877 was separated from it, leaving Cropsey only half the area of a 
congressional township. George R. Birch, its supervisor, gave it its name. 
After the Civil war the township was rapidly settled up, A. R. Jones ac- 
quiring most of the lands formerly owned by Stackpole. Among the 
earlier settlers after the war were A. S. Dart, John Ingram, N. Brinley, 
Henry Gilstrap, M. H. Knight, R. H. Arnold, Daniel B. Stewart, W. H. 
and F. M. Anderson. The settlers of this vicinity were largely of German 
extraction for the last 30 years, and being of a thrifty character the farms 
of Anchor are among the best in the county. With the building of a 
branch of the Illinois Central railroad through this township in 1880, a 
town, also called Anchor, sprang up on a site covering part of Daniel B. 
Stewart's land. It formed a trading center for the people of Anchor and 
Cropsey townships. The village was incorporated soon after it was set- 
tled. The source of the Mackinaw river is generally presumed to be in 
Anchor township. 

Arrowsmith Township. — This township has one of the most romantic 
histories in the county so far as the times before the white settlers came 

History of McLean County 83 

is concerned. It was here that one of the chief Indian settlements in the 
county is said to have existed, and here too, are evidences of an Indian 
fort and scenes of battles, either between hostile tribes of Indians or be- 
tween white men and Indians. The township was first called Pleasant, but 
afterward named Arrowsmith in honor of Ezekiel Arrowsmith, who was 
supervisor of the township in 1858, when the change of name was made. 
Jonathan Cheney entered the first land in the township, having laid claim 
to a tract near the grove in the southwest part, which was in fact part 
of the Old Town timber. Here was located, according to evidence of early 
settlers, quite an Indian town, and also an Indian burying ground belong- 
ing to the Kickapoos. John Wells Dawson, the first settler, had personal 
knowledge of these two Indian habitations. The Indian burying ground 
was just over the line from West township in Arrowsmith, while the 
Indian town was a few miles northwest of this, near the home of John 
Dawson. But the most notable Indian relics were those found near a 
grove in the eastern part of the township, first owned by Jacob Smith, 
on section 24. At the headwaters of the Sangamon river in this vicinity 
is a hill or mound some 20 feet in height and an acre in extent at the top. 
Early settlers found there many excavations or pits, which later became 
overgrown with grass and underbrush until they were almost lost to sight. 
Some distance away, about the distance which may be calculated as a 
gunshot, are located zigzag pits or ditches. Here have been found from 
time to time many leaden bullets. From all these evidences the local his- 
torians have concluded that a battle occurred here between an attacking 
party in the ditches and the defenders of the hill with its pits. The course 
of the Sangamon, the location of the hill and the "rifle pits," and the find- 
ing of bullets in the vicinity, all point to a battle. The McLean County 
Historical Society, under the direction of the late Capt. John H. Burnham, 
made many attempts to excavate these pits and mounds for historic evi- 
dences, and they were in part successful. The society obtained some two 
pounds of leaden bullets by their several explorations. Those who do not 
credit the theory of a battle between the Kickapoos and some hostile tribe, 
say the battle might have been between the Kickapoos and a band of 
French soldiers from Fort Chartres, who were once said to have been 
sent out to "chastise" the Kickapoos, known as the "Indians of the prai- 
rie." A half-breed Indian of the Pottawatomie tribe, is quoted by one 
authority as having heard traditions among his people of a battle between 

84 History of McLean county 

the Kickapoos and Foxes on one side and the Ottawas and Chippewas on 
the other, which occurred in a fortification near the Sangamon river. This 
seems to identify the Arrowsmith "battle ground" as the site of an an- 
cient struggle of hostile tribes. The late Hiram Beckwith of Danville, a 
noted Illinois historian, held to the theory that the McLean County Indian 
battle ground was the scene of a fight between Indians and French gar- 
risons from Fort Chartres. 

The village of Arrowsmith was founded when the railroad, afterward 
known as the Lake Erie, was built through the township, for which Ar- 
rowsmith township voted the sum of $25,000 in bonds to aid in its build- 
ing. Trains began running through the village in 1872, and at once it 
became an important grain and stock shipping point. The only stone 
quarry in McLean County was located near Arrowsmith for many years, 
but was later abandoned, since the stone was of poor quality. The land 
upon which this village is located belonged to Anderson Young, Jonas 
Fry, James Crosson and M. Ullmer, ten acres each. When it was decided 
in 1871 that the railroad would run through this place, the town was 
platted. S. E. Cline put in a scales the same year and he and James Lari- 
mer began buying and cribbing corn. The railroad switch was put in and 
a depot built in 1872. Larimer & Jones built the first store north of the 
railroad, and W. H. Thompson moved his store from Cross Roads in 1873. 
The postoffice was also moved to Arrowsmith from that place. R. S. Crum 
built the first residence. The village of Arrowsmith was organized in 
1890 and since has had a good growth. The population is 400 and it is 
well supplied with religious and educational facilities. 

Bellflower Township. — This township was originally named Prairie 
when the township organization was effected in 1858. It was the only 
township in the county which possessed no timber. The first supervisor, 
Jesse Richards, chose the name of Bellflower, that being his favorite ap- 
ple. It is the most southeasterly township of the county. It was first 
used as a cattle range by the pioneers of Cheney's Grove and other sec- 
tions. The township possessed much wet land, classified by the govern- 
ment as swamp land, and this was donated by the county commissioners 
in 1857 to secure the location of the Normal University in the county. 
Springfield parties bought up this land, but it was not drained and occu- 
pied until after the Civil war. Much of the land of the township has al- 

History of McLean County 85 

ways been owned by nonresidents and operated by tenants. Neverthe- 
less it has become one of the best farming sections of the county. The 
people voted in 1871 $30,000 in bonds to secure a branch of the Illinois 
Central railroad through their township. It was the first township in the 
county to erect a township high school, the structure costing $9,000, being 
built in 1905. Its example in this respect was in later years followed by 
many other townships. With the I. C. railroad running through the cen- 
ter of the township and the Wabash cutting off a corner, there are six 
shipping stations in the township, namely the village of Bellflower, 
McNulta Switch, and Laurette on the main line of the I. C. ; and Meharry 
and Sumner on the Rantoul branch of the Central, and Osman on the Wa- 
bash. Just over the line in Champaign County are two others, Harpster 
and Lotus. M^o^v-^oa-^ 

The village of Bellflower was platted and laid out by George N. Black 
of Springfield, who owned much land in that vicinity. The first man who 
engaged in business in the town was R. E. Moreland, who began buying 
grain in August, 1871. A. and A. J. Henry started in business there the 
following winter. John Nichols built the first residence and started a 
grocery in 1871. A. Libairn started a general store about the same time. 
T. B. Groves erected a home and started a hardware store in 1872. Other 
early business men were J. W. Eyestone, E. L. Rush, R. Rome, Hiram 
Rush, and G. W. Stokes. The first postmaster was A. H. Marquis. Bell- 
flower has always been a great grain market. Many churches and sev- 
eral fraternal organizations are included in the community interests. 
Originally an entirely prairie township, yet the people have planted many 
trees and the town and countryside are well supplied. The population is 
about 500 people. 

Bloomington Township. — The settlement of Bloomington township 
grew out of the original settlement of the county, at Blooming Grove. 
As stated elsewhere, the grove was first called Keg Grove, owing to the 
tradition that Kickapoos had found a keg of rum there soon after the 
white men arrived. Before the whites' came here there had been an 
Indian village at the timber farther east, known to early settlers as Old 
Town timber, after the old Indian town. The nearest white settlements 
prior to that of Blooming Grove were at Peoria, 40 miles distant, and at 
Starved Rock, old Fort St. Louis, 60 miles north. John Hendrix and 

86 History of McLean County 

John Dawson came to Blooming Grove in April, 1822, and next year 
Dawson's family followed. Dawson in 1826 moved to Old Town timber, 
later named Dawson township in his honor. Other settlers followed the 
first two, until by the year 1831 there were 50 families living in and 
around Blooming Grove. Burnham's history of Bloomingto»n gives the 
names of these families as follows: John Hendrix, Rev. E. Rhodes, Jere- 
miah Rhodes, William and Thomas Orendorff, Rev. James Latta, Henry 
Little, John H. S. Rhodes, William Goodheart, William H. Hodge, William 
Lindley, Mrs. Benjamin Cox, David Simmons, John Benson, James Ben- 
son, George Hinshaw, William Chatham, Moses Dunlap, William Waldron, 
Anthony Alberry, William Thomas, John Canady, James Canady, Oman 
Olney, Joseph Walker, Sr., William Michaels, John Lindley, Joseph Bailey, 
Harbord, Achilles Deatherage, William Walker, Timothy M. Gates, William 
Lucas, John Cox, Dr. Isaac Baker, Maj. Seth Baker, H. M. Harbord, Parr 
Rathbone, John Mullins, Michael Allington, Nathan Low, John Benson, 
Jr,. and Benjamin Depew. There were also a number of single men liv- 
ing in the grove at the time. Just north of the grove and within the 
territory afterward inside the city limits lived Henry Miller, James Tol- 
liver, James Allin, John Greenman, William Evans, John Maxwell, John 
Kimler and James Mason. The young single men in the city limits when 
first laid out were William Dimmitt, William Evans, jr., Frank Evans, 
William Durley, Merritt L. Covell, W. H. Allin, William Greenman, Esek 
Greenman, Samuel Durley, John Durley and Samuel Evans. 

James Allin seems to have been the first man to see in this flourish- 
ing young settlement the chance to secure the county seat of a new 
county and to build up here a little city. He therefore platted the town, 
and on July 4, 1831, the first auction sale of lots was held. There were 
probably between 250 and 300 people in the settlement at that time. A 
postoffice had been established at Blooming Grove in 1829, and it was 
moved to the town in 1832, being named Bloomington, probably as a 
•natural adaptation of the original name of Blooming Grove. This was 
the third place in the United States to be called Bloomington. 

From Milo Custer's investigations it appears that James Allin en- 
tered the east half of the southwest quarters of section 4, township 23 
north range 2 east of the third principal meridian, eighty acres, on Oct. 
27, 1829. This roughly comprised the land now in the city of Blooming- 
ton between East, Monroe, Roosevelt avenue and Oakland avenue. Allin 

History of McLean County 87 

later bought from Robert H. Peebles another 80 acres lying north of his 
entry. A commission of the legislature in the winter of 1831 had been 
appointed to investigate a site for the county seat of a new county to be 
organized under act of the legislature of Dec. 25, 1830, and named McLean 
County. This commission reported to the county commissioners at their 
session on May 16, 1831, that James Allin had obligated himself to do- 
nate 22 acres at the north end of Blooming Grove settlement. Dr. Baker 
was employed to plat this tract into town lots and advertise their sale on 
July 4. The sale was held accordingly at the date advertised. Timothy 
B. Hoblit, one of the county commissioners, acted as auctioneer, and Dr. 
Baker as clerk. The people in attendance followed the auctioneer around 
from lot to lot until all were sold. There were six lots to a block, three 
fronting each street running east and west, with an alley between. The 
record of the county commissioners of date Feb. 10, 1833, shows that 
deeds were executed to buyers of the lots in the original town plat as fol- 
lows: James Latta, Martin Scott, A. Gridley, Nathan Low, William R. 
Robertson, John Maxwell, Ebenezer Rhodes, Cheney Thomas, Solomon 
Dodge, Caleb Kimler, Jesse Frankeberger, Jesse Havens, Fredrick Trim- 
mer, M. L. Covell, John W. Dawson, David Wheeler, Alvin Barnett, Jona- 
than Cheney, Joseph B. Harbert, Eli Frankeberger, Hezekiah M. Harbert, 
Richard Gross, William Harbert, Samuel Durley, Orman Robertson, Bai- 
ley Kimler, Bailey H. Coffey, Lewis Sowards, John W. Harbert, Isaac 
Baker, Absolom Funk. Several of the lots offered at auction on July 4 
were not disposed at that time but were sold at later dates, as shown by 
deeds of record. 

The block which had been set aside for the site of the court house, 
bounded by Main, Jefferson, Center and Washington streets, was not all 
held out from the sale, but two lots fronting on Jefferson street were 
sold, that at Jefferson and Center to James Latta for. $16, and that at 
Jefferson and Main to M. L. Covell, who paid $80 for this and four other 
lots. The buyers of these two lots afterward disposed of them to other 
parties, and finally the county commissioners purchased the lots for the 
county, the Latta lot for $100 in 1847, the Covell lots for $210 in 1849. 
Thus the entire square became county property. 

The young county seat had a steady growth at first, and by 1836 
had a population of 450 people. It was the center of trade for all the 
settlements in McLean County. The country around was farmed after 

88 History of McLean County 

a crude fashion, wooden plows being more common than iron, and wheat 
was cut with a sickle. Markets were distant and not of easy access. 
Stock, mostly hogs, were allowed to run almost wild, and driven long 
distance to market. The town had a comparatively slow growth until 
the advent of railroads in the '50's gave it a new impetus. 

The history of Bloomington township and the city of Bloomington 
were so closely interwoven as to be inseparable for many years. More 
of the details of the growth of the city is given under its proper heading. 
The territory of the original town or village was approximately one mile 
square. It was incorporated as a village in 1843 and elected trustees 
until 1850, when it was organized as a city with mayor and aldermen. 
The city council thereafter made many additions to the city. 

The city was finally divorced from Bloomington township, when in. 
1911 the voters of the city voted favorably on the proposed organization 
of the township of the city of Bloomington, whose boundaries should be 
co-extensive with the city limits. This left a strip of land lying on three 
sides of the city which is now known as Bloomington township. The 
cutting off from this outlying township of much of its revenue by trans- 
ferring all the taxable property of the city to the township of the city 
of Bloomington, left Bloomington township much handicapped from a 
financial standpoint. Normal Township also lost by the change, for part 
of the Normal township lay inside the city limits of Bloomington. Since 
the date of this reorganization, the city and township have been governed 
jointly, very little difference being made in the procedure except as to the 
collection of taxes. 

The part of the former Bloomington township which was left after 
the organization of the township of the city of Bloomington maintains 
its township government, with school trustees, highway commissioners 
and other necessary officers. Its business relates mostly to roads and 
school affairs. It is handicapped in many ways by smallness of its reve- 
nues due to the exclusion of a large portion of its taxable property from 
the present township by the formation of the city township. The pres- 
ent supervisor of Bloomington township is George W. Knight. 

Blue Mounds Township. — This township, consisting entirely of prai- 
rie land, takes its name from a ridge which was to be seen in the early 
days located in section 28, but which is now not visible from a distance 

History of McLean County 89 

owing to the obstructions of hedges, orchards, etc. Being prairie, the 
township was not settled until a later period than sections of the county 
which had timber. The land composing the township was largely govern- 
ment or railroad lands, which were held off the market for some years 
after settlements had been made elsewhere. The first settler was sup- 
posed to have been Thomas Arnold, who located in 1853 on section 27. In 
the next year came J. S. Stagner and W. L. Burton and others. There were 
several farms taken up before the years 1857 and 1858, when the general 
panic and failure of the wheat crop bankrupted many farmers. James H. 
Doyle was the first supervisor when the township was organized in 1858, 
and David Wheeler was supervisor when the civil war broke out. Many 
soldiers went into the army from this township, but owing to there being 
no postoffice their enlistments were credited to other townships. After 
the close of the civil war was the great rush of settlers, and most of the 
farms were taken up by 1867, many by returning soldiers, who married 
and established homes. 

When the Kankakee branch of the Illinois Central road was built 
in 1884, it resulted in establishing two villages or grain shipping points. 
One was Cooksville on the eastern border, the other Fletcher, on the 
western. Cooksville was named after F. W. Koch of Bloomington, who 
owned land in the vicinity. The German form of the name was anglicized. 
The village was incorporated in 1901 with about 300 inhabitants. Blue 
Mound township possesses on an average about the best prairie soil in 
the county, and its farms are prosperous and well kept of late years in 
spite of early hardships. Money Creek flows through the southwestern 
part of the township, while two small streams unite in the northeast and 
flow into the Mackinaw river. 

Cheney's Grove Township. — Jonathan Cheney, who with his family 
had lived at Blooming Grove, set out to find another location in 1825, and 
decided to build his home at another grove to the north and east. This 
grove of 3,000 acres of timber ever after took the name of Cheney, and 
his home became the center of the new settlement which grew into a 
township and the town of Saybrook. The grove is located at the head- 
waters of the Sangamon river, which flows through it and makes a de- 
lightful place in pioneer times or the present. Until about the year 1829, 
the Cheneys were the only settlers at this grove, but in the latter year 

90 History of McLean County 

came James Van Scoyoc and the Robert Cunningham family, followed 
the next year by the Means, Riggs and Myers and the Ball families. 
During the year of the Black Hawk war, 1832, some of the families were 
removed to locations farther east in Champaign County, for the sake of 
safety. The settlement grew in permanent character, and many of the 
families intermarried. The land of part of this township is not as rich 
and deep as some of the other black soil townships. Being hilly and roll- 
ing, it suffered from hard rains. The settlers in the early years had to 
go long distances for their milling and supplies, to Bloomington or Mack- 
inawtown, or eastward to the Wabash river, since most of the mills of 
the time were run by water. A village called Saybrook was established, 
but it had a very slow growth in the first years, until after the railroad 
was built in 1871. Robert Cunningham built a grist mill and a saw mill 
on the banks of Sangamon, but the flow of water was uncertain. In 1850 
he changed to steam power. The postoffice which was established in 
1831 under the name of Cheney's Grove was changed to Saybrook in 
1865. The Methodist church and school board united and built a two- 
story building along in the '60's. 

Cheney's Grove furnished many soldiers for the civil war, and one 
company recruited here became Co. F of the 116th Illinois. In the world 
war the township furnished its full quota of soldiers for every branch 
of service. 

A new era dawned for Cheney's Grove when the charter for the rail- 
road was obtained from the legislature in 1867 through the efforts of 
W. H. Cheney, son of Jonathan Cheney, who was then state senator. 
Senator Cheney was elected in 1865 to fulfill out the unexpired term of 
Isaac Funk, who died that year. Cheney defeated Col. John McNulta, 
who ran as a»n independent republican. Cheney tried to get the road built 
through 'the south side of the grove near his own farm. By the gift of 
$10,000 from the village of Saybrook and $50,000 from the township, a 
station was secured for Saybrook, deflecting the line to the south a con- 
siderable distance from a straight line. After the railroad was built, 
Saybrook had a more rapid growth than formerly, and became one of the 
flourishing towns of the county, in spite of several bad fires it experienced. 

Saybrook's business section is among the best built of any town in 
the county. It has several large brick structures of two and three stories. 
Flourishing lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows are located here, and a live 

History of McLean County 91 

post of the American Legion. The churches are the United Brethren, 
Methodist and Christian. The school system includes a community high 
school and the grades, with a gymnasium in a separate building where 
basketball and other sports are carried on. There is a live Parent-Teach- 
ers' Association. Two live clubs for women are the Fortnightly and the 
Progressive Literary club. They are both devoted to serious studies. 
The little park in the center of the city is the scene of annual chautau- 
quas, band concerts and other public entertainments. The Weekly Ga- 
zette supplies Saybrook and vicinity with readable weekly news, con- 
ducted by Frank Woolley. J. S. Harper, a veteran newspaper man of 
McLean County, made his home at Saybrook for many years. The city 
has a volunteer fire department of ten men, with horse-drawn gasoline 
pump for equipment. In case of emergencies, water from the railroad 
tanks can be used. 

Chenoa Township. — The name of this township was meant for Che- 
•nowa, which Matthew T. Scott, its earliest settler, gave it. He came from 
Kentucky, and Chenowa was the Indian name of Kentucky and he be- 
stowed it upon his new settlement. The postoffice department made a 
mistake in first noting the name, leaving out the "w", and refused ever 
afterward to correct it, hence Chenoa was the word that stuck. The 
prairie lands of Chenoa Township long remained unsettled after other 
portions were taken up. The Chicago & Alton railroad having been built 
through the township in 1854, settlers began to come after that. By 
1856 there were rumors of a new road to be built east and west. Matthew 
T. Scott, a you»ng man from Kentucky, had taken up a large tract of land 
in the vicinity, and he wanted to found a town where the new road would 
cross the Chicago & Alton. To locate the spot, he went east and found 
engineers running lines. Being an amateur engineer, he was able to 
calculate about the place where the line would reach the Alton road, and 
there he took up land and laid it out in town blocks. Meantime, another 
man, W. M. Hamilton, formerly a friend of Mr. Scott, started a rival 
town east on his own land lying considerably east of the Scott tract. The 
Hamilton plat was called "East Chenoa." The latter plat became the 
more popular section of the town for residences. In 1854, J. B. Lenney, 
then living in Pennsylvania, was informed by friends living along the 
Mackinaw river that there was a good site for a town at the new railroad 

92 History of McLean County 

crossing. He sent his brother-in-law, John Bush, to erect a building there 
for store and shop, but after arrival Bush was dissuaded from building. 
Next year Mr. Lenney himself arrived and put up the building which 
became known as the Farmers' Store, west of the Alton and south of the 
T. P. & W. tracks. Mr. Bush erected a building for a hotel known as the 
Bush House, and Mr. Lenney put up a residence in "East Chenoa." John 
M. Bryant built the "National Hotel" in 1856. The first drug store was 
built back of the Bush House in 1857 by Dr. Stevenson, the first practic- 
ing physician. In the same year George Lounsberry built a blacksmith 
shop and he with Louis Ziegler erected a wagon shop. The first depot 
was built on the Wye, some distance north of the present one, and occu- 
pied by Samuel Emery as a hotel along with the station uses. But it 
caught fire while the first meal was being prepared and burned down. 
The town was organized in Aug., 1864, and elected J. B. Lenney as presi- 
dent, Thomas Sandham as clerk, and R. C. Rollins as treasurer. The 
town's charter of 1868 forbade sale of liquors within the village, but in 
1873, the place was incorporated under the general law for towns and 
villages, which permitted saloons, resulting in Chenoa having saloons for 
many years when other towns of the county were without them. The 
first mayor under the city corporation was J. R. Snyder. In fixing the 
boundaries of the town, the board included the plats of both Chenoa as 
laid out on the Scott land and East Chenoa on the Hamilton land, with 
the territory lying between. The election on organization as a city was 
held Aug. 5, 1873, with 150 votes cast for it and 18 against. Chenoa has 
many churches. The Presbyterians organized a congregation in 1860, 
the Catholics in 1863, and the Methodists built a church in 1867. A Con- 
gregational church was organized July 21, 1867. The Masons formed a 
lodge in Chenoa in 1859, and The Times was started as the first news- 
paper in 1867 by Silas P. Dryer and James McMurtrie. Chenoa now has 
a population of 2,000, has many good business buildings, a fine school 
house, many blocks of paved streets, a modern brick railroad station and 
one newspaper, the Times-Clipper, edited by W. H. Hawthorne. 

The township of Chenoa formerly comprised the territory now in- 
cluded in Yates Township, which was later separated and formed a sepa- 
rate organization. Being located within a mile of the Livingston County 
line, much of the trade of Chenoa is drawn from Livingston. The farms 
were taken up in large tracts in the early days, and even yet much of the 

History of McLean County 93 

land is farmed by tenants rather than by owners. The estate of Mat- 
thew T. Scott still owns a large tract of land, Mr. Scott having left it to 
his widow, Mrs. Julia G. Scott, who died in 1923. 

Chenoa at present is a modern little city, having much pavement, 
good schools and other advantages. It is on the main line of the Illini 
trail state hard road. It has several churches and one newspaper con- 
ducted by W. H. Hawthorne. The Roman Catholic church was built in 
1869, the Baptist church founded in 1866 and the Methodist church the 
same year. One of the strongest Congregationalist churches in the 
county existed there for many years, and there was a Presbyterian church 
also. Chenoa has suffered much from fires, having been swept by sev- 
eral which were very destructive. 

Chenoa adopted the commission form of city government in 1916, 
and in April, 1917, held its first election for commissioners. Park C. Gil- 
lespie was elected mayor over John H. Ketcham, and the commissioners 
elected were W. A. Chapman, C. F. Churchill, S. T. King and L. J. Schultz. 
The second election for mayor and commissioners was held in 1919, when 
the following were elected: Mayor, W. A. Chapman; commissioners, 
Jacob Balbach, B. F. Elfrink, L. L. Silliman and T. W. Weatherwax. In 
the quadrennial election of 1923, Mayor Chapman was re-elected, and 
Messrs. Balbach, Silliman, Elfrink and Weatherwax were also chosen 
again. The city clerk in 1923 is F. M. Power, the treasurer V. L. Nickel, 
and the police magistrate is M. F. Quinn. The 1923 supervisor for Che- 
noa was V. L. Nickel. 

Cropsey Township. — Col. A. J. Cropsey came to this county in 1854 
from Joliet and settled in the northeasternmost part, which was- named 
Cropsey Township in his honor. It was nine miles by six, in 1877, the six 
miles to the south was cut off and named Anchor township, leaving 
Cropsey only half a township in extent. After a short residence in Crop- 
sey, Col. Cropsey moved to Fairbury, where he became an influential 
citizen and was elected to the Legislature. In the Civil War he became 
major of the 129 Illinois regiment, which was made up in Livingston 
County. However, many of the enlisted boys were from McLean County. 
Being far removed from the county seat, the people of Cropsey in 1858 
sought connection with Ford County, but the project was voted down 
by the voters of other sections of McLean County. In the year 1877 

94 History of McLean County 

the Illinois Central railroad projected a branch from Kankakee to Bloom- 
ington which should pass through Cropsey township. For this road the 
people gave liberally, Daniel B. Stewart donating $10,000 for the ten 
miles in McLean County. The first extension of the Kankakee line in Mc- 
Lean County was to Colfax, giving both Cropsey and Anchor a road ; then 
the line was later extended to Bloomington. This was the first connection 
by railroad between the county seat and the neighborhoods to the extreme 
northeast of the county. At one time a village named Potosi was started on 
the line between McLean and Livingston counties, but twenty years after- 
ward, when the railroad passed some miles away, it dwindled and died. 
The village of Cropsey is almost on the county line, and draws as muf.h 
trade from Livingston and Ford as from McLean. 

Dale Township. — This township was settled among the first in the 
county, along about 1827 or '28. Robert H. Johnson was among the 
early settlers, and William Beeler came to this section about 1830. There 
were still many Indians in the vicinity when Beeler settled here. This 
township was blessed with much timber, Twin Grove being one of the 
larger tracts, located on the northern border; Hougham's Grove, or Har- 
ley's Grove in the center, and the west point of Blooming Grove in the 
eastern. Dr. Isaac Baker and Deacon James Tomkins of New York were 
among the first settlers on the prairie lands. Sugar Creek and its 
branches furnished the water courses of the township. A water mill for 
grinding corn was built by Abraham Harley about 1847 on section 47, 
which ran for several years. There are two unincorporated villages in 
the township, Shirley and Covell. Shirley has two elevators, a school 
house, -two churches, stores and several residences. Covell has a union 
church, a school house, stores and some residences. A Methodist church 
which stood on section 2 was blown down in the big storm of 1902. 

Danvers Township. — This township contains more territory than 
the ordinary one, having 45 square miles. It is located in the north- 
west part of the county, containing much prairie land and over 10,000 
acres of timber, of which Stout's Grove is the most important part. 
The timber attracted early settlers, and Ephraim Stout came here from 
Tennessee in 1825, being followed in 1827 by Matthew Robb, Robert 
McClure and Peyton Mitchell, Jonathan Hodges and his sons, U. S. and 
W. F. Hodges. Five years later Stout built a mill, which was a head- 

History of McLean County 95 

quarters for farmers for many miles during several years. Wheat was 
a staple crop of the farmers of this section for many years, and is 
still raised to some extent, but not so profitably. The old state road from 
Danville to Peoria passed through Danvers, and much east and west 
travel went that way. An early tavern was Wayside Inn, located in the 
west part of the township and kept by Alvin Goodenough. The first school 
was a private one taught by Archibald Johnson in 1832-33. The second 
teacher was Lyman Porter and the third Hosea Stout, who was convert- 
ed to Mormonism and went to Nauvoo and became an apostle. Matthew 
Robb acted as school treasurer and justice of the peace. He was also 
elected to the legislature. James Wilson was the first supervisor from 
Danvers township. The present supervisor is Chester R. Ewins, who 
served many years and was chairman of the board for a time. There 
have been many religious organizations in Danvers, the Friends, Cum- 
berland Presbyterians, United Brethren, Methodists, Congregationalists, 
Christians, Baptists and Mennonites being represented. The fifth house 
built in the settlement was erected by Thomas Walker for a church, 
building it of hewn logs. Many earlier religious bodies have disappeared. 
The Friends moved away, leaving no organization. Lutherans and Menno- 
nites have prosperous organizations. Danvers had honorable records in 
all the wars, from the Mexican War to the World War. George H. Fifer, 
a brother of Governor Fifer, who went from Danvers in the Civil war, 
was killed in battle in Texas. Several young men from Danvers lost 
their lives in the Word war. 

The village of Danvers, laid out in February, 1836, was first called 
Concord, for the sake of Israel W. Hall, who came from Concord, N. H. 
The name was changed to Danvers in 1861. The first postoffice was 
called Stout's Grove, founded in 1848. Danvers is now a progressive and 
modern little city. It has a water works deriving its supply from wells; 
a public library, two banks, three elevators, an electric interurban road 
and steam road, and for years the Willow Park sanitarium, a drink and 
drug cure, was run by Dr. Parkhurst. The Danvers Independent is a weekly 
newspaper. The village population is about 650. 

There are lodges of the Masons and Modern Woodmen in Danvers, 
and a post of the American Legion. The Danvers club is a progressive 
social organization. The schools are up-to-date, and live parent-teachers' 
association keeps the women in touch with the schools. Five churches 

96 History of McLean County 

are functioning, the Presbyterian, Zion Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist 
and Baptist. Danvers has no pavement, but the streets are well oiled. 

Dawson Township. — This township was named in honor of John 
Wells Dawson, one of the two early settlers of Blooming Grove, who 
made his home for a time in 1826 in a site that is a part of the area of 
the township. The Dawson home was on the land afterwards occupied 
by John Wirt, near where the Old Settlers picnic was held for many years. 
There were many Indians in the vicinity when Dawson settled there. In 
fact, they had a small village near his home, having moved from the older 
site at Old Town timber. The Indians remained in this vicinity for a 
few years, when they moved to Livingston county. Other settlers joined 
Dawson in 1827 and 1829 in the persons of William Goodheart and Jesse 
Frankeberger, the latter a local preacher. Dawson was but one of the 
several townships which were formed from the settlements grouped about 
Old Town timber, a body of 12,600 acres of fine grove. There were 4,600 
acres in Dawson, 6,620 acres in Old Town, about 250 acres in West, 320 
acres in Arrowsmith, 300 acres in Downs and 600 acres in Empire. The 
Indians naturally grew attached to this fine grove, and great was their 
grief when they finally departed. The late Hon. Simeon H. Wist donated 
to the county 20 acres of the timber which he owned in West Township, 
to be a perpetual county park. About one-fourth of the total area of 
Dawson Township was originally in timber, much of it being very wet 
and needing drainage to make it good farming land. The headwaters 
of the Sangamon River and Money Creek were in this township. 

When a railroad was proposed to be run through this region from 
Bloomington east, many of the townships voted bonds to aid in its con- 
struction, and of this sort of aid Dawson voted $30,000. The road was 
first called Lafayette & Bloomington, later the Lake Erie, and finally 
absorbed as part of the Nickel Plate system. Two stations were located 
on this road in Dawson Township, one in the east called Ellsworth, the 
other to the west called Padua. The township was also called Padua at 
first, but the board of supervisors in 1891 changed the name of the town- 
ship to Dawson on request of the citizens. Ellsworth was named for 
Oliver Ellsworth, who with Jonathan Cheney and A. B. Ives owned the 
land on which the town was located. Cheney and Ives were directors in 
the new railroad. The station of Holder, just across the line in Old 


<* l£ 

History of McLean County 97 

Town, was named for' Charles W. Holder of Bloomington, another direc- 
tor in the railroad. At one time there was a settlement called Stump- 
town south of Ellsworth, where a mill had been erected in the timber; it 
disappeared after the railroad went through. A village settled largely 
by Quakers was named Benjaminville, in the northwest corner of the 
township, but the station of Holder attracted nearly all the business that 
Benjaminville formerly enjoyed. Annual meetings are still held at the 
Quaker church at Benjaminville. On July 11, 1885, there was an Old 
Settlers association formed by a body of citizens assembled in Shinkle's 
hall in Ellsworth, and for 25 years an annual meeting and picnic was 
held at Betzer park, south of Ellsworth. The first president was Mark 
Banks, who served till 1902, when he retired. He died in 1907. The or- 
ganization was incorporated in 1898, the incorporators being Mark Banks, 
William Van Gundy, H. R. Arrowsmith, C .H. Whitaker, and G. W. Bane. 
The continued interest in the picnic was remarkable, the attendance 
often reaching from 5,000 to 8,000. In the years of its prosperity, many 
notables addressed the meetings, including Judge Weldon, Gen. McCler- 
nand, Hon. T. C. Kerrick, President David Falmley, Gov. Joseph W. Fi- 
fer, Hon. J. H. Rowell, Judge Thomas F. Tipton, Rev. J. J. Burke, Hon. 
John A. Sterling, Judge Roland A. Russell, L. H. Kerrick, I. N. Phillips, 
Dr. Richard Edwards, Dr. A. E. Stewart, Hon. Simeon H. West, and many 
others. Judge Tipton served as president of the day from 1891 until 
his death. On Aug. 8, 1901, the McLean County Historical Society met 
with the Old Settlers association and the papers on this occasion were 
of great historical value, recounting the early history of that region. 
They have all been preserved in the archives of the Historical society, 
and will some day be published, no doubt. The paper of Simeon H. West 
on the history of Old Town Timber was the best ever given on that sub- 
ject. The farming lands of Dawson Township are not so large in extent 
nor so rich in soil as some other townships, but values have gradually 
increased with the years. 

Downs Township.— When township organization was perfected in 
1858, this township was named Savanna, but owing to there being an- 
other township of that name in the state, the name was changed to 
Downs in honor of Lawson Downs, who settled in 1829 at a tract of tim- 
ber known as Diamond Grove, part of this township. There were 1,300 

98 History of McLean County 

acres of timber land in the county originally. Downs served under Cap- 
tain Covell in the Black Hawk war shortly after he settled here. Henry 
Jacoby became one of the first neighbors of Downs. Thomas Toverca, a 
preacher, settled here in 1830 and John Price came in 1836. The village 
of Downs as first laid out was called Priceville, but afterward changed 
to Downs. Sylvester Peasley was an early settler who left his mark upon 
the community. He began farming in a crude way in 1837, breaking the 
ground with an iron plow drawn by oxen. He raised cattle and razor- 
back hogs, which he drove to market in Chicago. He was elected super- 
visor for 15 years, and served as chairman of the board two years. John 
Cusey was another influential early settler who came here in 1836. He 
was employed by Jesse Funk in the cattle business. He was a republican, 
an anti-slavery man and was elected state senator. Several saw mills 
were erected in Downs Township along the Kickapoo Creek, but they 
thrived awhile then died out. Sevier Stringfield built a grist mill in 1831, 
using stones picked up from the land. In 1840 John Rice built another 
mill. The village of Downs was laid out in 1870 by P. B. Price. It thrived 
from the first, and is one of the prosperous villages in the county. It 
was incorporated about ten years ago. 

Dry Grove Township. — This is one of the few townships of the 
county which has no town or village. Its name is taken from the grove 
of timber which is located in the southwestern part. William McCul- 
lough and his son, Peter, first came to the neighborhood in 1826. The son 
of Peter McCullough, William McCullough, became circuit clerk and 
sheriff. He served in the Black Hawk war in his youth, and at the time 
of the Civil War was lieutenant colonel of the Fourth Illinois cavalry, 
being killed in battle at Coffeeville, Miss., on Dec. 5, 1862. Henry Van 
Syckle came in 1828 and was afterward one of the county commissioners. 
James Garton and Wilton Williams were among the first teachers who 
conducted schools in this township. Matthew Harbord built the first 
mill, which ran with horse power, and known as the "corn cracker" va- 
riety. A Mr. King built another mill which ground flour for years, and 
which was later abandoned and used for a barn, which is still standing. 
Stephen Webb, one of the earliest settlers of this vicinity, came from 
Tennessee in 1827 with William McCord, George and Jacob Hinshaw. 
Stephen Webb was one of the characters of the settlement, tall and 

History of McLean County 99 

straight, being over six feet in height. In later years his hair and beard 
were white. He was full of cheerfulness and optimism. 

Empire Township. — Ever since the settlement of the county, Empire 
has had a leading part in its history. It formed a desirable place for first 
settlers, being provided with timber, water and rich prairie land. John 
Buckles came to this section in 1827 and settled at the grove which bears 
his name. This and other groves in the township comprise 8,700 acres. 
Buckles and his family of thirteen children always bore a leading part 
in the township's history. Michael Dickerson came in 1830. He had two 
sons, Henry and Frank, who were leading citizens. The Greenman fam- 
ily settled at Blooming Grove in 1829 and afterward removed to Buckles 
Grove. The Crumbaughs came in 1830. Henry Crumbaugh kept a noted 
pack of hounds. David Crumbaugh was another well-known member of 
the family. Squire Hiram Buck was a settler in 1837 and was the first 
postmaster at Leroy. He also served as justice of the peace for eighteen 
years and was one of the members of the county court in the '50's. Mah- 
lon Bishop came to Buckles Grove in 1835 and was elected to the legisla- 
ture in 1837. He was one of the first known "farmer candidates." A 
school was built in 1837, known as the Clearwater School, of which Will- 
iam Johnson was the first teacher. 

Empire Township was early the home of the most prosperous farm- 
ers and cattle raisers of the county. There was timber for building, water 
for the stock and rich prairie lands for grazing. The earliest mill in this 
township was built in 1835, and shortly afterward there were mills built 
on Salt Creek by David Phillips and Isaac Williamson. They were crude 
affairs, but helped to grind the grain of the settlers. 

A new era dawned for the township on the construction of the first 
railroad, the Danville, Urbana, Bloomington & Pekin, later the Big Four 
and now part of the Ntcker-Ptete/ The township donated $75,000 toward 
the construction of the road, and got two stations, Leroy and Empire. 
Later a branch of the Illinois Central was built from Leroy to Rantoul 
and West Lebanon, Ind. 

Asahel Gridley and Merritt Covell laid out the village of Leroy in 
1835, but owing to hard times it made slow progress the first few years. 
In 1838 Edgar Concklin built a frame store and next year a post route 
was established with Hiram Buck as postmaster. The route ran from 


100 History of McLean County 

Danville to Pekin via Leroy and Bloomington. John W. Badderly had 
started a town called Monroe a mile south of Leroy, but moved to Leroy 
when that place was laid out. Badderly and Amos Neal were Leroy's 
first merchants. Other early merchants were Baker & Greenman, L. H. 
and B. F. Parke, E. L. Morehouse & Son, and T. J. Barnett. Joseph Kee- 
nan was merchant, farmer and banker. The first church was established 
about 1830 by James Latta. In 1838 the Methodists built a church on a 
lot given them by Edward Concklin. In 1902 the Methodists built their 
present large and modern church. The Christian church was organized 
in 1888. Universalists have carried on services for many years and 
erected a chapel. The Cumberland Presbyterians organized a congrega- 
tion very early and in 1898 erected a brick church, also conducting the 
Leroy Seminary for higher learning for some years. The Spiritualists 
had a flourishing congregation at one time, and the late J. T. Crumbaugh 
left them an endowment for a church which is to be built at some time in 
the future. In 1904, on April 22, the McLean County Historical Society 
sponsored a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the settlement of 
Buckles Grove, at which papers recounting all the early history of Em- 
pire Township were read by Simeon H. West, Thomas L. Buck, John 
McConnell, George Hedrick, Mrs. J. V. Smith, Mrs. Adam Murray, Mrs. 
E. B. Young, Mrs. John McConnell, Mrs. A. L. Rike, John M. Harper, Nel- 
son G. Humphrey, J. R. Covey, Charles Williams, Joseph Keenan, S. D. 
Baker, Rev. W. E. Leavitt, A. B. Conkling. Leroy had several grist and saw 
mills in its day, the owners of these being Elisha Gibbs, and Buckles & 
Farmer. The first burned down and the second was eventually dismantled. 
Leroy has always had a good school system. It now has one of the best 
township high schools in the county. The Eugene Field school houses the 
grades. Leroy has one large factory, a branch of the Bloomington Canning 
Company, which is a busy place in certain seasons. It has one newspaper, 
the Journal, run by Melvin A. Cline. There are all kinds of retail stores. 
Leroy is the third largest town in the county, having a population of 
about 1,700. 

Modern Leroy has some two miles of fine paved streets and one of 
the best city water plants in the state for a place of its size. Just at the 
west end of the main business section is a pretty little park and foun- 
tain, the gift of Simeon West, a pioneer. The city has several fine 
churches, flourishing lodges of Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, 

History of McLean County 101 

Red Men, Modern Woodmen, Eastern Star, Rebekahs, and a large post of 
American Legion named for Ruel Neal. The churches are the Presby- 
terian, Christian, Methodist, and Universalist. Leroy is one of the few 
places of its kind which maintains a Commercial Club, it being ten years 
old and having a record of much activity. There is a women's auxiliary 
to this club. Fine club rooms are kept up. The women of the city 
maintain an active Parent-Teachers' Association for co-operation with 
the schools. Other organizations of women are the Woman's Relief Corps 
and the Garden Club, besides several strictly social and literary bodies. 
There is a Country Club in Leroy, with a fine golf course and club house. 
Some day the city will enjoy a public library as a gift from the Crum- 
baugh estate. They have a splendid new high school building. 

The Leroy fair is one of the best managed and most prosperous pub- 
lic enterprises of its kind to be found anywhere. It has continued for 
many years and drew great crowds for a whole week by its agricultural 
exhibits and entertainment features. 




Funk's Grove Township. — Taking the name of the earliest and most 
prominent family of settlers, this township is one of the most noted 
farming tracts in McLean County. Isaac and Abraham Funk came to 
this county in 1824, and after looking at the conditions at Blooming 
Grove and Old Town Timber, they decided to locate at the grove to the 
west, which afterward took their name. William Brock came with them 
from Ohio, and he with the Funks set to work in the business of raising 
cattle. Brock built his cabin on Section 30 and the Funks built theirs on 
Section 16. Having built up a good business in cattle, Brock was. driving 
a lot to the market in Ohio, when he was taken sick at the home of John 
Dawson in Old Town, where he died of typhoid fever. The first spring 
the Funks were here they planted a crop and cleared off a tract in the 
edge of the grove, meanwhile building a house such as they could from 
poles and bark of the linden trees, 12 by 14 feet. One window was put 
in and a puncheon floor laid. Eighteen persons lived in this cabin in the 
winter of 1824-25. The cabin stood till 1832, when it was burned down. 
Isaac Funk was born in Kentucky Nov. 14, 1797. The family moved to 
Ohio in 1807 and from there to McLean County in 1824. Isaac Funk had 
little education, but he was a man of great practical knowledge, being 
wise in matters of handling cattle. He went into debt $2,000, a great 
sum for those times, and acquired his first land. Every dollar he could 
get he invested in more land, until he acquired 20,000 acres. He was 


History of McLean County 103 

married to Cassandra Sharp in 1826, and they had eight children. Land 
values greatly increased with the coming of the Illinois Central railroad, 
and shortly after that time Mr. Funk added 12,000 acres to his holdings, 
for which he contracted debts of $80,000. He fed and marketed large 
numbers of cattle and hogs, and became known far and wide as the larg- 
est dealer of that kind in Central Illinois. 

Mr. Funk took an interest in politics and was a man of positive con- 
victions. He was a Whig for years, then joined the republican party. 
He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and in the campaign of 1860 he 
appeared in a Lincoln parade in Bloomington driving twelve yoke of oxen 
hitched to a wagon on which was a "float" representing the rail splitter. 
In 1862 he was elected to the state senate, and finding there much senti- 
ment in opposition to the Lincoln and union war policy, he made a thrill- 
ing speech denouncing the opponents of Lincoln as traitors. It thrilled 
the whole state by its vigor and directness. In the winter of 1865 Mr. 
Funk came home, was taken sick and died on January 29. His wife died 
the next day. 

The Funk lands were amicably divided among his sons after his 
death, and they remain largely in the hands of the family to this day, 
the third and fourth generation being now in charge. The lands were 
developed along lines different from that of ordinary farms, being devoted 
to "corn breeding," where new varieties and better qualities of seed are 
constantly bred, after the manner of breeding stock. The Funk Bros. 
Seed Company was the outgrowth of this kind of agricultural methods, 
and this company built up a business in seed corn and other grains which 
extends all over the country and to many foreign lands. Many of Isaac 
Funk's sons and grandsons have attained local distinction in other lines 
than purely agricultural. Benjamin F. Funk, one of the sons, was mayor 
of Bloomington and congressman, while his son, Frank H. Funk, grand- 
son of Isaac Funk, is the present member of congress from this the Sev- 
enteenth district (1923). Another grandson, Eugene D. Funk, was mem- 
ber of the government food commission during the World War. Lafay- 
ette Funk, son of Isaac, was state senator for some time; also member 
of the board of supervisors and chairman of the board at one time. 

Gridley Township. — This, the northwestern township of the county, 
is the largest in extent, being nine miles by six. Its southern border is 

104 History of McLean County 

along the Mackinaw River and there are 3,180 acres of timberland in the 
township. The first settlers came in 1833 and 1835, being James Bigger, 
Reuben and Taylor Loving, locating in the Mackinaw timber. John Sloan 
and John B. Messer arrived in 1833 and 1834. Messer had previously 
lived at Lexington and was a great hunter. He had given names to Tur- 
key Creek and Buck Creek from the kind of game he had found along the 
streams. Loving Creek, in south Gridley Township was named for one 
of the Loving Brothers. After the first settlers came, Gridley did not 
get many new inhabitants until along in the '50's, most of the settlements 
being along the edge of the Mackinaw timber. The Mackinaw River runs 
for five miles through the township. 

The village of Gridley was laid out by Thomas Carlyle and George 
W. Kent on land they had bought from General Gridley, and they conse- 
quently named the place in his honor. It was platted in 1856, and the 
new railroad, the Toledo, Peoria & Western, ran its first train through 
the town on Feb. 28, 1857. The village grew slowly for some years owing 
to the backwardness of the farming country around it. A great storm 
swept over the country May 13, 1858, causing much, damage to timber 
and property of all kinds. The villages of Gridley and Chenoa were both 
great sufferers. The first school house was built in the village in 1859. 
The town was incorporated in 1869, the first trustees being H. E. Stevens, 
president; W. H. Boies, George Juett, D. E. Sloan and S. L. Martin. A 
great windmill was built in Gridley in 1874 which for many years suc- 
cessfully competed with water and steam mills of the county in the way 
of making flour and grinding the grain of the farmers for feed and other 
uses. It was one of the notable institutions of the county during its exist- 
ence, but finally went out of business. Gridley has prosperous churches 
of the Methodist, Congregationalist and Mennonite denominations. Among 
the notable characters of Gridley for many years were the Drum brothers 
who were great hunters, and made annual excursions to Arkansas, to the 
Rocky Mountains and elsewhere to hunt big game. Gridley has many 
good stores and is a point for much trading from northern McLean and 
southern Livingston counties. 

Hudson Township. — The township and village of Hudson took their 
names from Hudson, New York, which had formerly been the home of 
some of the men who organized a colony and entered most of the land 


, IJHIJ jaHllin 





History of McLean County 105 

which comprised this township. The very earliest settlers of the vicin- 
ity were Bailey Harbert, his son-in-law, Richard Gross, and Mosby Har- 
bert, who arrived here probably in 1828 or '29. Jesse Havens came in 
1830, from Blooming Grove, and bought out the claims of the earlier 
settlers. Havens had been a soldier of 1812 and served as county com- 
missioner after his settlement in this county. His son, Hiram Havens, 
grew to be a leading citizen. David Trimmer was the first blacksmith of 
the neighborhood. The Illinois Land Association, organized at Jackson- 
ville, in Feb., 1836, entered large tracts of land in this township in the 
names of Horatio N. Pettit, one of the three charter members, the other 
two being John Gregory and George F. Durkitt. This was one of the 
many colonization schemes which flourished about that time as land 
speculating enterprises. Each member paid $235, for which he was to 
receive 160 acres of land, four lots in the town of Hudson and a share in 
the net profits of the whole scheme. Some timber land was also prom- 
ised to each, but finding a limited amount of timber to give out, caused 
discontent among members of the colony. Some left, but of those who 
remained there were Pettit and Gregory, John Magoun, James H. Robin- 
son, Oliver March, James and Joseph Gildersleeve, Jacob Burtis and Sam- 
uel P. Cox. The colony had got a good start when the panic of 1837 hit 
it, and things were at a standstill until about 1850. Among the buildings 
erected at the start was a frame structure used as school house and 
church. The first preacher was John Dunham, a United Brethren mis- 
sionary. Rev. James Latta organized the first Methodist church. The 
German Baptists or Dunkards also had a congregation here. The first 
man buried in the township was Solomon Lewis, a soldier of Captain 
Brown's company en route from Danville to the Black Hawk war. The 
company camped here, Lewis was taken sick and died at the house of 
Jesse Havens. The houses built by the Hudson colonists were of frame, 
in contrast to log houses erected in other settlements. This required 
sawed lumber, and a saw mill was among the first structures erected. 
J. Moats erected such a mill in 1836, and George Mason built a grist mill 
on the Mackinaw. Among the earlier settlers aside from those compos- 
ing the colony, were James Smith, who removed here from Smith's Grove 
in Towanda Township, Benjamin Wheeler, the Hinthorns, Elijah Priest, 
Isaac Messer and Isaac Turnipseed. 

106 History of McLean County 

The village of Hudson was laid out Aug. 13, 1836, by Horatio Pettit. 
The main street was laid out 120 feet broad, and other streets 80 feet 
wide. When the Illinois Central Railroad was built it passed through the 
township and the village, going along one side of the main street, or 
"Broadway." A celebration was held at Hudson under auspices of the 
McLean County Historical Society, at which time a boulder was set mark- 
ing the site of the last camping ground of the Pottawatomie Indians in 
that vicinity. It stands just at the turn of the road in front of F. A. 
Carrothers' residence. Mrs. Carrothers was a Havens. 

Lawndale Township is made up of rich prairie lands and contains 
many excellent farms. The settlement of the township took place between 
1851 and 1854, when emigrants bought lands from the government. Hon. 
John Cassedy, one of the early settlers and members of the Legislature, 
was the one who suggested the name, the land suggesting to his mind 
a great lawn. Cassedy was a man of great stature and equally great 
brain, a marked character of his time and station. Henline Creek, which 
crosses the township and flows into the Mackinaw, was named for John 
Henline, who settled here in 1828. He with his three sons, David, Will- 
iam and Martin, were the only settlers living here at the time of the deep 
snow. By the year 1832, when the Black Hawk war broke put, there were 
many settlers living in Lawndale, Martin and Lexington townships. They 
banded together and built a stockade and block house for mutual protec- 
tion against roving bands of hostile Indians. Jacob Spawr, an early set- 
tler, says this stockade was about six rods long and four rods wide. Mc- 
Lean County at that time extended beyond the present site of Pontiac, 
and was almost on the Indian frontier. Some of the settlers being in ter- 
ror of the unknown extent and ferocity of the Indians, fled the country 
and went back east. The only known Indian band in this immediate 
vicinity at that time were the "praying Indians" of the Kickapoo tribe, 
then located at Oliver's Grove in what is now Livingston County. This 
fear of them caused the government to remove them west of the Mis- 
sissippi River in September of that year. This panic over supposed In- 
dian dangers probably lost the county many permanent residents at that 
time, some leaving never to return. 

While Lawndale Township contains no town or village, the town of 
Colfax is within a half mile of the township line and forms the trading 

History of McLean County 107 

center for Lawndale residents. Anchor and Lexington also furnish con- 
venient trading places. 

Lexington Township. — Indians still had their villages in this town- 
ship when the first white settlers came, one band of Kickapoos being 
located near where Selma was afterward, and the Delawares with a band 
farther up the Mackinaw. In 1828 several white men arrived, including 
Conrad Flesher, John Haner and his sons, Jacob, John and William; Isaac 
and Joseph Brumhead. John Patton and family 1 reached the settlement 
next spring, having wintered near the home of John W. Dawson at Bloom- 
ing Grove. When Patton arrived he found the deserted wigwams of the 
Kickapoos, who had moved out. The Indians came back in the summer, 
but found their habitations occupied by white men. The red men stayed 
around the vicinity all summer and helped Patton build his first cabin. 
In the fall they removed to Livingston County to remain. Patton's house 
was turned into a block house or fort during the Black Hawk War, but 
no Indians attacked it. Valentine Spawr and Milton Smith were the next 
additions to the settlement. The latter became a prominent citizen and 
member of the county commissioners' court. The Mackinaw River and 
its surrounding timber proved an attraction to settlers and several mills 
were early built along the stream. William Haner, John Patton, John 
Haner and Harrison Foster were those who erected grist and saw mills. 
Patrick Hopkins was a newcomer about 1831 and he became well known. 
He and General Bartholomew made a noted trip to the Indian settlement 
at Oliver's Grove in Livingston County, to see if the Indians were dis- 
posed to be hostile. Instead, they were given a friendly greeting. Hop- 
kins was in demand by Judge Davis as a juryman and served many times 
in different court houses. James R. Dawson arrived at about the time 
of the Black Hawk war and he became county commissioner in 1845. 

Lexington Township had two villages, one of which survived, the 
other passed away. The village of Lexington was laid out by James 
Brown and Asahel Gridley in 1837, taking its name from Lexington, Ky. 
The panic of 1837 struck the town as it did everything else, and it got a 
slow start. Jacob Spawr, who was born in January, 1802, in Pennsylvania, 
settled here in 1826, and located in Money Creek. He lived in the vicinity 
of Lexington until his death on Aug. 20, 1902, having attained the remark- 
able age of 100 years, six months and 26 days. Spawr's tavern was a 

108 History of McLean County 

favorite stopping place for lawyers and others going from one county- 
court to another, and among the other guests at the place was Abraham 
Lincoln on several occasions. The village of Lexington began its pros- 
perity when the Chicago & St. Louis Railroad was built through the place. 
Noah Franklin and his bride rode to Bloomington on the first train that 
ran through the village. Franklin and Long built a hotel, and among the 
early merchants were J. C. Mahan, George Dement, and men by the name 
of Gregory and Knotts. Soon after the village was incorporated on July 
12, 1855, the citizens held a public meeting to denounce intemperance 
and take measures to put the rum sellers out of business. There were 
two of them, Edward Gleason and Albert Hancock. They set a price 
upon their stocks, which sum was raised by public donations, and the 
liquors then emptied upon the streets. No liquor was afterward sold in 
Lexington for many years. William M. Smith, a prominent resident of 
Lexington and member of the Legislature, secured the passage of a law 
giving power to the town council to prohibit the sale of liquors. At- 
tempts to incorporate under the general law were defeated until 1901, 
when the change was made and Lexington had licensed saloons until 
prohibited under the local option law in 1914. There were three saloons 
in 1907 each paying $1,200 annual license. William M. Smith was per- 
haps Lexington's most distinguished citizen for many years, being legis- 
lator, speaker of the House, and member of the Railroad Commission. 
Bernard Claggett, another resident of Lexington, was Democratic candi- 
date for State Treasurer on one occasion. He afterward moved to Okla- 
homa and died there. W. M. Claggett, of Lexington, was superintendent 
of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Normal for several years and was very 
successful in the position. Lexington always had progressive schools 
and churches. The United Brethren, Methodists and Baptists were the 
earlier denominations. The Christian Church later organized a congre- 
gation, and the Catholics also formed a church there. 

The town in Lexington Township which once was and is not now, was 
Pleasant Hill, in section 21, which was laid out in 1840 by Isaac Smalley. 
It had a fine location and good prospects until the location of the Chicago 
& Alton Railroad left it isolated, when it began to go backward. Mr. 
Smalley tried to get the proposed east and west line, the Peoria & 
Oquawka road, to pass his town, but he died before success crowned his 

History of McLean County 109 

effort, and when the road was finally built it ran considerably north of 
Pleasant Hill. Only one or two buildings now mark the site of the village. 

Lexington held a notable celebration on July 4, 1901, when a meeting 
under the auspices of the McLean County Historical Society commemo- 
rated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the settlement of the upper Macki- 
naw. Hon. Lawrence Y. Sherman was the speaker of the occasion, and 
Joseph Spawr, then in his 100th year, was the guest of honor. Governor 
Fifer, Judge Tipton and others gave talks, and at night there was a con- 
cert and fireworks in the city park. 

Lexington Township made the first attempt at making hard surfaced 
roads in McLean County. Using the beds of gravel that abound in the 
township, the road commissioners in 1887 began hauling it to the roads 
forming a central bed ten feet wide with earth roads at the side. It cost 
about $1,200 a mile and served the purpose of travel in wet weather bet- 
ter than any other form of improved highway in the county up to that 
time. Thirty miles of such road was constructed in the township. 

Lexington people have always believed in education, and have now 
two as substantial schools as can be found in any place of similar size. 
The primitive churches have given way to beautiful and substantial edi- 
fices. Lexington has one of the best town parks in the county. The 
public library is one of the things of which Lexington is proud, being well 
supplied with books and also serving as a public meeting place. The busi- 
ness district is well built, mostly of brick buildings two and three stories 
in height. It is electrically lighted, with some paved streets and sewer 
systems. It is a fine trading center and is well known as a grain and stock 
shipping point. The city has two banks and one weekly newspaper, the 
Unit-Journal, edited by Miss Florence Wright. 

Martin Township. — This township took its name from Dr. E. Mar- 
tin, of Bloomington, who owned a tract of 1,700 acres in the township. 
The land is largely prairie, with originally about 1,040 acres of timber. 
The Mackinaw River runs west along the northern tier of sections, and 
here most of the timber is located. One grove was known many years 
as Funk's Bunch, being on a tract of 1,000 acres which Isaac Funk owned. 
It was later sold to Peter Harpole and the timber became known as Har- 
pole's Grove. William and L. R. Wiley, brothers, bought land near the 

110 History of McLean County 

Mackinaw in 1835, partly located in Lawndale and some of it in Martin 
Township. Curtis Batterton came about 1837, both he and the Wileys 
being from Kentucky. Martin Batterton bought land on the north side 
of the Mackinaw in Lawndale Township. The Batterton and Wileys were 
hunters and spent much time in trying to exterminate the wolves which 
prayed on the stock. Deer were found in the vicinity as late as 1865. 
When the rush for prairie land was on from 1865 to 1870, most of the 
tracts in Martin Township were taken up. Martin long sought to secure 
a railroad when the new lines were being platted across this part of the 
state. It failed in the effort to get the extension of the Wabash south 
from Forrest, for the line was built through Gibson to Decatur. But the 
Clinton, Bloomington & Southwestern, now known as the Kankakee branch 
of the Illinois Central, was built from the northeast into the township and 
for two years had its terminus at the new town of Colfax. This town 
boomed at first, being platted on W. G. Anderson's land. A coal mine 
was soon started and continued in operation for many years, but finally 
discontinued. It was 200 feet deep and had a two-foot vein. 

The village of Colfax was incorporated in 1880, and from the start 
was growing and prosperous. There was a large amount of grain shipped 
through the three elevators located there. The business district was 
laid out on a wide street, and the residences were of substantial and mod- 
ern character. It has always had schools of a high grade for the size of 
the town, and modern school facilities have been provided. There are 
several churches. For many years the question of "license" or "no li- 
cense" formed the main question at the local elections, but finally saloons 
disappeared under the state local option plan of voting and then by the 
enactment of national prohibition. 

The news of Colfax and vicinity is purveyed by the Colfax Press, 
edited by H. C. Van Alstyne, and this paper has a page devoted to news 
of Anchor and vicinity. The mercantile interests of Colfax are varied, 
and it has one bank and one modern moving picture theater. 

Money Creek Township. — The township takes the name of the creek 
which enters its borders near the southwestern corner and passes to the 
northwest. The Mackinaw River crosses its northeast corner. Being 
well supplied with water and timber land, the township was settled very 
early, Lewis Sowards arriving here in 1825. Jacob Harness came about 

History of McLean County 111 

the same time and Jacob Spawr in 1826. Being accustomed to the wild 
life of the frontier, Sowards moved to Wisconsin when his neighbors be- 
came too "thick" — that is, when there were several within a few miles 
of him. Gen. Joseph Bartholomew was perhaps the most distinguished 
of the early settlers of this township, coming here from Bartholomew 
County, Ind., in 1830. He had a distinguished military record in the 
Revolutionary War, in the Indian wars that followed and was an officer 
in the battle of Tippecanoe, where he was wounded. He was a distin- 
guished citizen of Indiana, when he met financial reverses and emigrated 
to Illinois to attempt to recuperate his fortunes. When the Black Hawk 
War was on in 1832, the people of this sparsely settled county were in 
fear of attacks by the red men, hence sent General Bartholomew to the 
Indian village in Livingston County to learn the real intentions of the 
Indians. They met a friendly reception, and their report served to allay 
many of the fears among the settlers of this county. Nevertheless, 
General Bartholomew believed in "preparedness," hence he advised the 
building of rude forts or block houses as means of defense. One such was 
erected at the home of John Patton near Selma in Lexington Township 
and the Henlines also erected one. General Bartholomew and his son 
Marston laid out the village of Clarksville on July 13, 1836. In a few 
years it had grown to quite a town, with a hotel, store, shoe shop, carding 
mill, cabinet shop and saloon, there being about twenty buildings. Gen- 
eral Bartholomew died in 1840, leaving his plans for bridging the Macki- 
naw River incomplete, and the town of Clarksville gradually lost prestige 
and population until there are only two buildings left on its site. Always 
interested in public affairs, General Bartholomew took an active part in 
the campaign of 1840 for his friend and old commander, Gen. William 
Henry Harrison. His exertions in the campaign resulted in his collapse 
and death on Nov. 2 that year. Many mills were built in Money Creek 
Township in the early days, but none of them remain. Among the pro- 
prietors of these mills were George W. Wallis, Adam Hinthorn, W. G. 
Bishop. There is one village in the township, Fifer by name, but it has 
no postoffice. United Brethren and Methodist churches were organized 
in the township, but only two U. B. churches remain at present, people of 
other denominations going to Towanda or Lexington. The C. & A. rail- 
road crosses a corner of this township, but there is no station in the 

112 History of McLean County 

Mt. Hope Township. — Another of the townships of the county which 
was settled mainly by a colonization scheme. Located in the southwest- 
ern part of the county, it contains 48 sections of land, of which 940 acres 
were originally timber. Among its earlier settlers was William Johnson, 
who located at a grove on Sugar Creek named in honor of him. He was 
justice of the peace and county commissioner 1837-40. Among the other 
early settlers of the region were Phillip Cline, James Murphy, Jacob 
Moore, John and Robert Longworth, Daniel Proctor, Ezra Kenyon and 
Nicholas Darnell. 

The Mt. Hope colony was formed in Rhode Island in 1835 with $12,500 
in capital and composed of many men of means and intelligence. It was 
proposed that each one's share in the new settlement would be 320 acres 
of land and four lots in the village of Mt. Hope. Twenty-two sections, 
14,000 acres, were entered, and the village of Mt. Hope laid out. There 
were 6,000 acres also held in trust for the general purposes of the col- 
ony. Fifteen families formed the advance guard of the colony in the 
spring of 1837, coming by way of New York, Pittsburgh, down the Ohio 
and Mississippi Rivers to St. Louis, then by wagon to this county. The 
settlers soon established their distinctive New England institutions, the 
school house, Thanksgiving day and the Congregational church. How- 
ever, owing to the hard times of 'that period, the colony had rough sled- 
ding and lost many of its original members. In 1845 the trust lands were 
sold at $3 to $5 per acre. A proposed railroad from Pekin to Blooming- 
ton along in the '40's was never built, and the hopes of this colony for a 
railroad were deferred till the building of the Chicago & Alton road in 
1853, which had a station at McLean. The township of Mt. Hope was 
organized in 1858 with Daniel Windsor as first supervisor. The village 
was laid out by Franklin Price, former mayor of Bloomington, in June, 
1855. Among the first settlers in the village were G. L. and F. A. 
Wheelock, E. G. Clark, John Kellogg, H. W. Wood, and Dr. F. P. King. 
The Wheelocks and Wood opened stores. The first postmaster was John 
Goodhue. Early grain buyers were A. H. Dillon and Mark Marions, J. 
S. and G. P. Barber. The grain elevator erected in 1868 by C. C. Aldrich 
was conducted by him many years and now belongs to his son, Frank 
W. Aldrich. Many saw and grist mills were built in this township in 
the early days, but all of them eventually were abandoned, the latest 
survivor being Moore's grist mill on Sugar creek in Johnson's grove, 

History of McLean County 113 

built about 1840. Schools and churches were among the first institu- 
tions of the Mt. Hope colony, the first school being in the village of Mt. 
Hope. There are now four churches in McLean, Methodist, Presbyterian, 
Baptist and Christian. The town has one newspaper, the McLean Lens, 
published by Crihfield from Atlanta. Mt. Hope Township is the center 
of the chief dairying industry of McLean County, there being several 
farmers who keep large dairy herds. Snow & Palmer of Bloomington 
is the principal distributing means for the milk and cream. Barnes & 
Tudor and Leach & Sons are two others dairying firms. 

The village of McLean has one of the best community high schools 
in the county, it having been completed in 1921 at a cost of $200,000. 
The grade schools are housed in good substantial buildings. Practically 
all lines of trade are represented in the stores of the village. A fine 
little park in the center of the town adds to its beauty and utility. 

Normal Township. — The boundaries of Normal Township and the 
city of Bloomington formerly overlapped each other, that part of the 
city of Bloomington between Empire and Division Streets being located 
within Normal Township. This made a confusing state of affairs espe- 
cially in election precincts. This was remedied in the year when the 
voters of Bloomington organized the township of the city of Blooming- 
ton, whose boundaries were co-extensive with the city limits. Normal 
Township thus lost some of its territory and population. 

Jesse W. Fell, who located his home on a high rise of ground north 
of the then city of Bloomington in 1833, began at once to secure public 
improvements for his neighborhood. When the crossing place of the 
two new railroads, the Illinois Central and the Chicago & St. Louis, was 
fixed, the site was first called the "Junction," and later North Bloom- 
ington. Jesse Fell early conceived the idea of locating here some kind 
of educational institution, and when on June 15, 1854, a sale of lots was 
held at North Bloomington, one block was named "Seminary Block." 
Being a strong temperance man, Mr. Fell provided in every deed for a 
lot sold that no liquor should be sold on that lot, thus establishing the 
new town as an anti-liquor community. In 1867 on a petition of the 
people of Normal, this prohibition was enacted into special statutory 
form. Pursuing his intention to secure an educational institution, Mr. 
Fell went to work after a convention of educators held in Bloomington on 


114 History of McLean County 

Dec. 26, 1853, had decided in favor of founding a state institution for 
the training of teachers, and this had been followed by a bill passed by 
the Legislature on February 18, 1857, providing for such a training school. 
Mr. Fell, Prof. D. Wilkins and others started in to gather funds for mak- 
ing an offer for the location of the normal training school at "North 
Bloomington." They were successful, making a much better bid than 
Peoria, their nearest competitor, and the State Normal University was 
thus founded and located here. In honor of the new school, the name 
of the Junction was changed from North Bloomington to Normal, and 
the township was likewise named. The change officially took place April 
6, 1858. Mr. Fell had for many years after his first settlement here 
been busy in planting trees, and hence when the state committee to locate 
the normal school visited this new community they saw in it possibilities 
for great future beauty. This was one of the deciding factors in the 
location of the new school. The lands of Normal Township had originally 
been rich black prairie. 

A second state institution was secured for Normal in 1867, when 
through the generosity of Jesse Fell, Judge Davis and others, the Sol- 
diers' Orphans' Home was located here. 

Normal has been from its beginning a center of the nursery industry 
in Illinois. Jesse W. Fell had a nursery of limited extent, while along 
from 1855 to '59 Cyrus R. Overman conducted a nursery in company 
with his brother-in-law, Capt. W. H. Mann, a veteran of the 94th Illinois 
and father of the famous congressman, James Mann, who died in 1923. 
The F. X. Phoenix nurseries were famous in their day, and later Capt. 
Henry Augustine conducted a large nursery, which is now owned by his 
Son, A. M. Augustine and run under the name of the Augustine Nursery 
Co. George J. Foster, H. K. Vickroy and B. J. Vandervoort were other 
nurserymen of later years. 

The town of Normal was incorporated in 1865 under the general 
law. The first trustees were L. A. Hovey, Wesley Pierce, D. P. Fyffe, 
John A. Rockwood and S. J. Reeder. For many years the town struggled 
under the handicap of lack of paved streets, but some fifteen years ago, 
under the mayorship of 0. L. Manchester, an era of improvement struck 
the citizens and practically every principal street of the town was paved 
before they stopped. Broadway, which is a boulevard, is one of the hand- 
somest drives to be found in any town of the state. Two of the state 

History of McLean County 115 

paved highways passed through Normal in 1923, one from the south- 
west to northeast, the other from north to south. The population of 
Normal is made up largely of families who originally moved to the place 
to educate their children and became permanent residents. The town 
has a modern business district and several small factories. Several paved 
streets connect it with Bloomington, making the two corporations prac- 
tically as one town, which some day they may become in name as well 
as in fact. 

Old Town Township. — The belt of timber across the southern border 
gave its name to this township, the grove in turn taking its name from 
the old Indian town. The grove covered 6,620 acres, being 18 miles long 
and three miles wide. It was at the headwaters of the Kickapoo Creek. 
William Evans was the first settler within the township borders, coming 
in 1826. His farm buildings were destroyed by a tornado in September, 
1827, and he gave up and moved to Blooming Grove. His land afterward 
became a part of the city of Bloomington and was quite valuable. John 
Bishop was a settler in Old Town in 1830 and William Bishop in 1832. 
John Hendryx and Lewis Case also came about that time. The first 
school was in Lewis Case's home, taught by Callista Stanton in 1838. 
The same house also sheltered the first church meeting. In 1853 the 
Methodists built a church at Benjaminville, which was later moved to 
the village of Holder and sold to the United Brethren. The Society of 
Friends formed the religious influence at Benjaminville. When the rail- 
road afterward known as the Lake Erie road was built, the village of 
Holder was laid out in 1871 by Charles W. Holder. It occupies ten acres 
in section 13. The hamlet of Gillum is located in the southwestern part 
of the township and is on the New York Central, or Nickel Plate rail- 
road. Pleasant Grove church and cemetery are located on section 26, 
and an older cemetery on section 22, not now in use. 

Randolph Township. — Gardner Randolph was the first white man to 
settle in this immediate vicinity, and for him the grove where he settled 
was named, and in turn gave the name to the township formed. This 
was a favorite resort of the Indians before the white men came, and 
many relics of the red men have been found by Milo Custer and others 
in the vicinity of Randolph Grove. Gardner Randolph reached his stop- 
ping place in December, 1823, and set up a hut formed of brush, hay and 

116 History of McLean County 

the canvas cover of his wagon. Born in North Carolina, Randolph had 
first moved to Alabama, then to White County, Illinois, then to Sanga- 
mon County, thence to McLean. After this region was pretty well set- 
tled, he moved on to the west, locating in Kansas, and at last went on to 
California, where he died in 1866. It was a hard life indeed for the 
Randolph family the first year, as they had little to subsist upon, not 
even milk from a cow until the second year. Other settlers joined Ran- 
dolph in the grove in the following two years, the Stringfields, John 
Moore, Samuel Stewart, Thomas 0. Rutledge and Jesse Funk. Gardner 
Randolph was a religious man, an adherent of the Methodist Church, but 
in politics opposed to the Abolitionists. John Moore came into promi- 
nence in the early years of the county, was elected to the legislature, 
became lieutenant governor of the state and later state treasurer. His 
grave is in one of the old cemeteries of Randolph neighborhood. Jesse 
Funk was a sturdy stockman. He raised hogs and drove them to Galena 
to market. In one of these trips in the winter of '31 he was caught en 
route with other men in the deep snow, but they finally got out alive. He 
was instrumental in retaining the north tier of sections in township 2 
for McLean County instead of giving them to DeWitt as was proposed 
when the latter county was organized. Jesse Funk was a county com- 
missioner 1844 to 1849. Capt. John Karr, a Revolutionary war soldier, 
came with his sons in 1835. The Rust family, the Nobles, Stewarts and 
others were among the earlier settlers. Dr. Harrison Rust and Dr. A. E. 
Stewart were prominent citizens, soldiers, writers and farmers. Camp- 
bell Wakefield and Isaac Van Ordstrand were also early and prominent 
settlers. Randolph Township was famous for its mills in the early days, 
these using the water power of the Kickapoo Creek, which was sufficient 
to turn wheels about half the year. Probably the first water mill in the 
county was one built by Michael Dickerson, and later sold to William 
Hampton and Martin L. Bishop. James Hedrick put up a sawmill on the 
Kickapoo at the then young village of Lytleville. John Baldwin bought 
this mill and was really the founder of Lytleville, which was once a flour- 
ishing and ambitious village, but died out when Heyworth was started 
as a station on the new Illinois Central railroad, two miles away from the 
Lytleville site. G. Kimler and a Mr. French were other owners of early 
time saw mills on the Kickapoo. Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes conducted the first 

History of McLean County 117 

church in 1823. Jesse Walker, a missionary and Rev. John See, a Meth- 
odist, were also pioneer preachers. 

The village of Heyworth was laid out by Campbell Wakefield Sept. 
11, 1858, and incorporated in 1869. It is one of the most flourishing and 
up-to-date towns in the county, with modern homes, two banks, churches, 
a newspaper and other business enterprises. Heyworth has good churches. 
The Presbyterian congregation was organized in 1844 by Rev. Josiah 
Porter and has a good building and parsonage. Flourishing Methodist 
and Christian congregations are also in the town. Heyworth is supplied 
with modern grade and high schools. Heyworth's weekly newspaper is 
named the Heyworth Star. The paper is edited by P. A. Chapman. The 
town is a grain and stock shipping point. It has many good stores, two 
banks, elevators and lumber yards. The Illinois Central and the Illinois 
Traction System supply its transportation. An excellent school system 
includes a community high school, among the best in the county, with 
grade schools. A progressive Parent-Teacher association is at work. The 
churches of the city include the Christian, Presbyterian and Methodist. 
There are many lodges, numbering among them the Odd Fellows and 
Knights of Pythias, both of which own buildings of their own; the Mod- 
ern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors, Masons and Eastern Star, Pythian 
Sisters, Rebekahs, and Court of Honor. There is a large post of Amer- 
ican Legion. 

Towanda Township. — Being a prairie district, Towanda was not set- 
tled as early as some of the townships having timber. There is only 460 
acres of timber in the township and the rest of the land is rich prairie 
soil. Smith's grove, named for David Smith, who settled there in 1830, 
is in the center of the township, while in the north part is a strip of 
timber along Money Creek. John Trimmer and family were the first 
settlers, coming in 1826, following an Indian trail from the Wabash coun- 
try and settling at the grove. Frederick Rook came soon afterward, but 
later moved to Livingston County. William Halterman settled on the 
prairie in 1840. About 1837 Elbert Dickason and John Pennell erected 
a sawmill on Money Creek. David Trimmer had a blacksmith shop at the 
head of Money Creek timber as early as 1828. Jacob Spawr and Eliza 
Ann Trimmer were married on Dec. 3, 1826. Notices of the proposed 

118 History of McLean County 

wedding were posted, in lieu of getting a license from the county seat. 
W. C. Orendorff performed the wedding service. The postoffice of the 
township was at the home of William D. Moore, on the site of the present 
town of Towanda. The first preacher was John Dunham at Smith's 
Grove in 1832. Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes visited this section in his rounds. 
There are now Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Catholic churches 
in the township. 

Peter Badeau and Jesse W. Fell laid out the village of Towanda on 
Dec. 1. 1854. Charles Roadnight, then treasurer of the Chicago & Alton 
road, established here a country place which became famous in its time 
for the elaborate expenditures which he lavished upon it. He tried to 
boom the town and built there a two-story building 50 by 100 feet, the 
upper part of which was designed for a public hall. But the structure 
fell to decay and finally burned down. A good flour mill was erected by 
Roadnight and Strothers, but did not long continue in use. Henry War- 
ner's mill met with a similar fate. William R. Duncan was one of the 
earliest breeders of fine cattle in this vicinity. Towanda at present is a 
village of some considerable prosperity in trading. It is located on the 
state paved road forming the direct line of travel between Chicago and 
St. Louis. The Chicago & Alton railroad runs through it and has a new 
station there. 

Two other railroad stations are in the township, both Barnes and 
Merna being on the branch of the Illinois Central. Merna is the center 
of a large and prosperous farming district mainly composed of adherents 
of the Catholic church, and they have a large church at the town. There 
are two community halls and two elevators. 

West Township. — It was first attempted to name this township Pot- 
tawatomie in honor of the Indian tribe of that name; then Kickapoo for 
that tribe, but at last the board of supervisors gave it the name of West 
in honor of Henry West, one of the early settlers and largest landowners. 
The first entry of lands from the government in the southeast part of 
the county was by Jonathan Cheney, this land being located near the old 
Indian town. Absalom Funk entered a large tract in the same vicinity, 
on which was the site of the supposed Indian fort. Henry West entered 
a tract of 2,500 acres in 1850, while John Weedman took up a large tract 
in the southeast part of the township. These two men early developed 

History of McLean County 119 

a large cattle business. The tract of timber on section 5 was named 
Weedman's Grove. Henry West was elected first supervisor when the 
township was organized in 1858 and continued for 20 years. During the 
civil war he distinguished himself by his activity in providing means for 
caring for the families of soldiers. Mr. West also prevented the sale of 
the school lands owned by the township, so that the school tract grew to 
720 acres which yielded an income of $2,000 to $3,000 annually, which 
income was applied to school maintenance for many years, thereby re- 
ducing the school taxes of the township. He served the people well in 
his day and generation. 

West township is distinguished by having within its borders two of 
the most notable Indian relics of the county. These are the sites of an 
old Indian town and also that of an Indian fort. The late Capt. John H. 
Burnham was most active in seeking to trace to authentic records some 
of the facts concerning this town and fort. The town was deserted be- 
fore the white settlers came, after the Kickapoos had suffered from a 
scourge of smallpox, and they moved to the grove further north, which 
became known as Old Town timber, and so remains to this day. Accord- 
ing to researches of Captain Burnham and the late Hiram W. Beckwith 
of Danville, there were traditions that the Indians here had been attacked 
by white troops and driven away. By some it was said to have been a 
detachment sent by General Harrison from Indiana, but in other quarters 
it was said to have been a squad of state rangers who attacked the Indian 
camp and drove them off. A survey was made in 1880 of the site of the 
old Indian town and fort by the McLean County Historical Society. It 
was figured that the fort consisted of some kind of trenches and para- 
pets surmounted by stakes driven into the ground, but which were after- 
ward pulled up and used for fuel. In 1906, at the instigation of Hon. 
Simeon West, son of Henry West, the Historical Society took steps to 
erect a marker for the site of the old fort. Accordingly, on a plot of 
ground two rods square, donated by its owner, George W. Funk, a granite 
monument costing $100 was erected, on which was inscribed: "Site of 
Ancient Kickapoo Fort. Erected by the McLean County Historical So- 
ciety." This was mostly paid for by Mr. West and George P. Davis, 
president of the society, in order to preserve from oblivion this most 
valuable historic relic. 

West Township assisted by public subscription in building two lines 

120 History of McLean County 

of railroad. One was the I. B. & W., later called the Big Four and now 
the Nickel Plate, to which West Township gave $20,000 and which crossed 
the southwest corner of the township. It was built in 1870. The largest 
town on the road that is near to West Township is Farmer City, in De- 
Witt County. Another road to which West contributed in 1878 was a 
narrow gauge, which was afterward purchased by the Illinois Central 
and standardized. The station of Glenavon, in Bellflower Township, is 
nearest to West on this line. A branch of the Illinois Central was built 
across the southeast corner of the township in 1872, without aid from the 
public. Weedman is the station on this line in West Township. Sabine 
is near the center of the township on the former narrow gauge line. 
Hon. Simeon H. West, son of the first settler of that* name, was long 
a member of the supervisors, and in 1883-85 was a member of the Legis- 
lature. He owned hundreds of acres of land which he inherited from his 
father. In later years he moved to Leroy and built a fine home. His act 
of most public interest was his donation of 20 acres of timber land to the 
county to be perpetually used for park purposes. This is in section 6 and 
was donated in 1906. It has been suitably marked and named West Park. 

White Oak Township. — This, the smallest township in McLean 
County, contains only about one-half the ordinary area of a congressional 
township. Its peculiar shape is due to the politics of two families, the 
Benson and the Carlocks. When Woodford County was formed, the 
Carlocks wanted to be in that county, because it was Democratic, while 
the Bensons wanted to be in the Whig county of McLean. Consequently 
the line was drawn half way between the Benson and the Carlock farms. 
Only one-half of White Oak Grove is in this township, the remainder 
being in Woodford County. Smith Denman was the first settler, in Sept., 
1829. He was followed next year by Elisha Dixon, John Brown, Samuel 
and Robert Phillips, and a little later by John, James and William Benson. 
The father of the Bensons was a soldier of Tippecanoe under General Har- 
rison, who had come to Blooming Grove in 1823. He afterward became 
the first treasurer of Tazewell County. The sons served in the Black 
Hawk war, and the grandsons in the Civil War. Oak Grove was one of 
the towns of McLean County which was destined to arise, flourish for a 
time, then die out. It was situated in White Oak Township, and there 
a town hall was built, a postoffice established, several stores and shops 
opened. But when the Lake Erie Railroad was built and a station placed 





History of McLean County 121 

at Carlock, Oak Grove dwindled away. White Oak Grove was a resort 
of the Indians, and a camping place was at Indian Point, west of the Car- 
lock farm. There was an Indian trail leading from Blooming Grove along 
the high lands past Dry Grove and Twin Grove to White Oak Grove, 
thence west to Peoria. Another trail came from the W T abash country on 
the east by the north side of Cheney's Grove, thence by Money Creek 
passing near where Hudson now stands, to Indian Point. The village of 
Carlock was laid out Jan. 5, 1888, by John P. Carlock, after the building 
of the Lake Erie Railroad had left the town of Oak Grove sidetracked off 
the line of the road. Most of the buildings of Oak Grove were removed 
to Carlock. The latter has grown slowly since it was founded. It has 
modern business buildings for a town of its size, churches, elevators, good 
schools and a newspaper. It is located on one of the trunk line's hard 
roads built by the state in the years 1922-24. 

Yates Township lies in the extreme northeast part of the county. 
The T. P. & W. Railroad crosses the township. Chenoa and Lexington 
are the nearest trading towns in McLean County for the Yates Township 
people. Owing to the lack of timber, Yates was not settled early, the 
first entries of lands being in 1855-6. It was part of Chenoa Township 
from its organization in 1858 until 1862. This was first called Union 
Township owing to the sentiments of its people, but there were others 
of the same name in the state, and the name was changed to Yates in 
honor of the Civil War governor of Illinois. Yates Township had a great 
influx of population just after the Civil War, and after the prairie land 
was properly drained it became some of the most fertile in the county. 
Yates Township is one of the two townships in the county which still 
owns school lands, there being 240 acres unsold of the original assign- 
ment, while West Township has 720 acres. The township school fund is 
$50,000, being next to West. David Ogle, an early settler, donated to 
the township school fund $5,800, and later a further sum of $2,000, sub- 
ject only to a small life annuity. 

The village of Weston, on the T. P. & W. railroad, is the only station 
in the township. It was laid out in 1868 by Nelson Buck, county sur- 
veyor of Livingston County. Two elevators handle great quantities of 
grain. Weston has never been incorporated as a village, though several 
attempts were made. There are Methodist and Christian churches in the 
township, and also one called the Zion church. 




Bloomington was a paper city. That is, it existed on paper before 
it existed in fact. When a committee from the settlement at Blooming 
Grove went to Vandalia in 1830 with a petition for the formation of a 
new county out of the east part of Tazewell County, the Legislature 
granted the petition and chose the name for the county and for the 
county seat. The county was named McLean in honor of Hon. John Mc- 
Lean, one of the great men of Illinois at that time, who had just recently 
died. The county seat was given the name of Bloomington, partly as an 
easy adaptation of the name of Blooming Grove, and perhaps following 
the names of other Bloomingtons in one or two other states. 

The act of the general assembly provided that the county seat should 
be located on land donated for the purpose, not less than 20 acres. Of 
this donated tract sufficient land should be reserved for the county build- 
ing, the remainder to be platted into lots and sold and the proceeds used 
for county purposes. In the previous year, on Oct. 27, 1829, James Allin, 
who came here from Sangamon County, had entered from the govern- 
ment the east half of the southwest quarter of section 4 in township 23 
north, range 2 east of the third principal meridian, containing 80 acres. 
The 80 acres north was entered by Robert H. Peebles on Aug. 11, 1830. 
Allin later acquired the Peebles land, probably under a prior contract. 
Lemuel Lee and Isaac C. Pugh were appointed by the Legislature to 


History of McLean County 123 

choose the site for the county seat of McLean County, but they were 
deterred by the "deep snow" of the month, December, 1830, and did not 
make the trip to this county to decide on the location until some time in 
the spring, and their report was first acted upon at the May meeting of 
the county commissioners in 1831. The report of the commissioners was 
that the county seat should be located "on the land of James Allin on the 
north end of the Blooming Grove, for which we have his obligation for 
the donation of 22*4 acres of land." On the same date Dr. Isaac Baker, 
the first county surveyor and county clerk, was appointed to advertise a 
sale of lots on the following July 4th. At the next meeting, June 7, he 
was employed to plat the land. This original plat of Bloomington is on 
record on the first page of the book of deed records in the court house. 

The auction sale of lots was duly held on the advertised date, and the 
lots were bid off at small prices. Milo Custer, the local historian, made a 
careful study of records and compiled a list of buyers of these lots on the 
first sale, from which the following appears, giving the name of buyers 
and the prices paid: Bailey H. Coffey, lot 10, $15; Joseph B. Harbert, 
lots 7, 9 and 53, $20; William Harbert, lots 11, 12 and 47, $50; John W. 
Harbert, lot 8, $15; M. L. Covell, lots 4, 5, 29, 30, and 37, $80; Rev. James 
Latta, lots 1, 2, and 3, $15; Ebenezer Rhodes, lots 22 and 23, $20; Jona- 
than Cheney, lots 17, 19, 21, 24, 31, 56, and 57, $80; John Maxwell, lot 20, 
$10; Jesse Havens, lots 15 and 16, price unknown; James K. Orendorff, 
lot 18, $29 ; David Trimmer, lots 13 and 14, $10 ; David Wheeler, lots 27 
and 28, $10 ; Bailey Kimler, lots 25 and 26, $10 ; Cheney Thomas, lot 34, 
$20; Asahel Gridley, lot 33, $50; William K. Robertson, lot 35, $30; Na- 
than Low, lots 36 and 62, $40; Orman Robertson, lot 32, price unknown; 
James Latta, lot 39, $16; Alvin Barnett, lot 46, $20; Frederick Trimmer, 
lot 48, $10; Samuel Durley, lots 45 and 52, $50; Jesse Frankeberger, lot 
44, $30 ; John W. Dawson, lot 43, $30 ; Seth Baker, lot 58, price unknown ; 
Caleb Kimler, lot 59, $22 ; Asahel Gridley, lot 60, $52 ; Samuel, John and 
William Durley, lot 55, $50; Lewis Bunn, lot 54, price unknown; Absalom 
Funk, lot 51, price unknown; Amasa C. Washburn, lot 50, $11.50; John 
Kimler, lot 49, price unknown. 

The three lots fronting south on Washington Street between Center 
and Main, together with the center lot fronting on Jefferson Street in 
the same block, were reserved as the site for the court house. The north- 
west and the northeast corner lots of this block were sold to M. L. Covell 

124 History of McLean County 

and James Latta, respectively. However, at a subsequent date the two 
lots, were deeded back to the county commissioners, so that the whole 
block afterwards became the property of the county. There were twelve 
blocks of six lots each in the original plat. 

For seven years after the embryo village was laid out, there was no 
sort of legal government other than that of the voting precinct and the 
county government of three commissioners. Some of the names of the 
early commissioners were Seth Baker, Jonathan Cheney, Timothy B. Hob- 
lit, Jesse Havens, Andrew McMillan, Joseph Bartholomew, William C. 
Johnson, William Orendorff, James R. Dawson, Nathan Low, William Con- 
away, Israel W. Hall and Henry I. Clark. 

The legal incorporation of the town of Bloomington took place in 
1843, when a majority of its citizens voted for incorporation. The gov- 
ernment was transferred from the county commissioners to a board of 
trustees. Matthew H. Hawks was the first president according to records 
that have been preserved, Merrit L. Covell the first clerk, Wells Colton 
attorney, and William McCullough constable. The board of trustees, 
aside from the president, were Bailey H. Coffey, John Magoun, James T. 
Walton and William Gillespie. All these names have become historic in 
the annals of Bloomington. Bailey H. Coffey became second president, 
and the board was made up of Abram Brokaw, Samuel D. Luce, Goodman 
Ferre and William H. Allin. The later members of the board by years 
were: 1846 — Goodman Ferre, president; A. Brokaw, J. E. McClun, Will- 
iam Piatt. 1847 — Bailey Coffey, president; Joshua Harlan, Charles P. 
Merriman, William McKisson, Hugh Taylor. 1848 — C. P. Merriman, pres- 
ident; John Foster, William G. Thompson, John W. Ewing, George W. 
Minier. 1849 — G. W. Minier, president; John Foster, W. G. Thompson, 
Ezekiel Thomas, John W. Ewing. 

By the time the village of Bloomington had lived a corporate life of 
four years, its population was 800, that is in the year 1845. It doubled 
in the next ten years and in 1850 was 1,600, while by the year 1855 it had 
reached 5,000. This growth was remarkable, when it is considered that 
it was a time of general business depression, and also that the Mexican 
War had taken place in the period mentioned. 

The era of permanent and steady progress was coincident with the 
building of railroads to the thriving new town. In 1850, the legislature 
legalized the incorporation of the Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, now the 

History of McLean County 125 

Chicago & Alton; also the Illinois Central Railroad. These two pioneer 
steam transportation lines crossed at Bloomington, or more exactly at 
North Bloomington, now Normal. This fact assured the young city of a 
future expansion and substantial growth. There was a spirit of progress 
and enterprise among the people of that date which boded much success 
in future plans for the enlargement of the city. Chief among the reasons 
for confidence of the public was the leadership of such men as David 
Davis, Asahel Gridley and Jesse W. Fell, all of whom worked and planned 
for the great future which they confidently believed would be Bloom- 

On Feb. 19, 1850, the legislature had passed a law by which the city 
of Bloomington should become specially chartered on an affirmative vote 
of the people. This election was held March 5, and 164 voters favored 
the act and 26 opposed. Thus the city became legally incorporated under 
a special charter. A city government was soon afterward elected with 
Rev. David I. Perry as the first mayor. 

The complete list of mayors of Bloomington from its incorporation 
until the present time with the years of their incumbency are as follows 
David I. Perry, 1850 ; Charles P. Merriman, 1851 ; John H. Wickizer, 1852 
William Wallace, 1853; John W. Ewing, 1854; Franklin Price, 1855-56 
Amasa J. Merriman, 1857-58; John M. Stillwell, 1859; H. S. Herr, 1860 
George W. Parke, 1861-62; Amasa J. Merriman, 1863; Joel Depew, 1864 
E. H. Rood, 1865-67; John M. Stilwell, 1868-69; T. J. Bunn, 1870; B. F 
Funk, 1871-75; John Reed, 1876; T. J. Bunn, 1877; E. B. Steere, 1878 
John Reed, 1879 ; E. H. Rood, 1880 ; John W. Trotter, 1881-83 ; B. F. Funk 
1884-85; Lewis B. Thomas, 1886-88; J. R. Mason, 1889-1890; C. F. Koch 
1891; D. T. Foster, 1892-94; G. M. Smith, 1895; Edgar M. Heafer, 1896 
D. T. Foster, 1897; C. F. Koch, 1898-99; Lewis B. Thomas, 1900-03 
George C. Morrison, 1904-05; James Neville, May 1, 1905, to Aug. 17 
1906; A. G. Erickson, Aug. 17, 1906, to May 6, 1907; Edward Holland 
1907-09; Richard L. Carlock, 1909-11; Albert L. Moore, 1911 to Septem- 
ber, 1913, when he resigned; James Costello, appointed to succeed Moore 
and elected for term ending 1915; Edward E. Jones, 1915 to 1923 under 
commission form; Frank E. Shorthose first mayor under restored alder- 
manic form, 1923. 

The list of city clerks of Bloomington has included such well-known 
names as John M. Scott, afterward judge of the Illinois Supreme Court; 

126 History of McLean County 

William M. Orme, famous in Civil War times; Harvey Hogg, who was 
killed in battle in the Civil War; 0. T. Reeves, afterward circuit judge; 
W. B. Lawrence, afterward many years police magistrate; Samuel W. 
Waddle, who was later one of the city's well-known bankers; Major Rolla 
N. Evans, *who held the position with distinction for twelve years ; C. C. 
Hassler, well known as soldier and poet. 

The list of city attorneys also included many well-known names, 
among them Judge Scott, William M. Orme, Harvey Hogg; Hudson Burr, 
afterward a leading financial leader of the community; Joseph W. Fifer, 
afterward Governor of Illinois; Ira J. Broomfield, well-known veteran of 
the Civil War; B. D. Lucas, John T. Lillard and T. C. Kerrick, all weli- 
known lawyers; A. E. DeMange, afterward owner of the street railway 
system; Sain Welty, afterward circuit judge; Jacob P. Lindley, a leading 
lawyer ; Miles K. Young and William R. Bach, both afterward states attor- 
neys of McLean County ; Ben Goodheart, who afterward became leader in 
Modern Woodmen affairs; Louis FitzHenry, now Federal judge; Richard 
M. O'Connell, who served through the entire commission form period and 
is now corporation counsel. 

The men who have served the city as chiefs of police include Orrine 
Curtis, William McCullough, Allen Withers, Jonathan Glimpse, A. T. Bris- 
coe, George Bull, W. G. Boyce, Elliott Miller, James Stone, Thomas G. 
Keogh, J. E. Bentley, E. J. Potts, F. J. Maxwell, R. W. Schroeder, C. W. 
Hitch, Fred L. Lang, John J. Jones, Paul Gierman. 

Bloomington is provided with a fine park system. For many years 
it fared very poorly, for there were insufficient funds, but with the vote 
to levy a two-mill park tax in 1899, money to more adequately care for 
the parks was afterward provided. The parks are under a board of park 
commissioners, during aldermanic form of city government, but under 
commission form the commissioner of public property had charge. 

Miller Park, formerly known as Miller's pasture, was purchased in 
1887 from W. T. Miller for $17,000, of which sum $5,000 was raised by 
private subscriptions. It originally consisted of 39 acres, but later the 
addition of a wooded tract called Stein's Grove, and now known as For- 
est Park, has added much to its beauty and spaciousness. A lake com- 
prising 18 acres was created by building of two dams across the natural 
ravine which ran through the park from northeast to southwest. The 
first dam in 1896 created only a small pond of water. Then about 1903 

History of McLean County 127 

the contract was let for another dam, 1,800 feet in length, 200 feet in 
width at the base and 30 feet wide at the top. A core of yellow brick clay 
extends down through the center of the dam, 24 feet wide at the top, 14 
at the bottom. It makes the dam impervious to leakage. The top of the 
dam forms a driveway all around the west side of the lake. Bathing 
houses and beaches were built, and thousands enjoy swimming in the 
lake during the summer. Certain fish days are permitted, and boating is 
allowed. A handsome pavilion and animal house, the latter being a good- 
sized zoo, add to the attractiveness of the park. The county erected a 
$50,000 granite monument to the soldiers of the wars up to the World 
War, which was dedicated in 1913. It contains the names of all soldiers 
and sailors of the wars from this county up to that time. 

The park area of the city was doubled by the purchase in 1922 of 90 
acres of land lying west of Main Street and east of Miller Park. The 
land had belonged to the Meyer family, having been the former site of 
the Meyer brewery. It cost $48,000, payable in installments. Under 
Mayor Jones, last mayor of the commission form, and Mayor Shorthose, 
first mayor of restored aldermanic form, the new park was named High- 
land Park, and was much improved. A free municipal golf links was laid 
out and many other changes for the good of the public were made. 

The city owns many smaller parks. One is Franklin Park, given to 
the city in 1856 by David Davis, William F. Flagg and William H. Allin 
and named in honor of Mayor Franklin Price. Today it is a handsomely 
wooded plot in the midst of a fine residential district. Trotter Park is 
adjoining the city water works and was named for Mayor John Trotter. 
Withers Park, or Library Park, is just east of the public library, and is a 
playground for children. A handsome marble piece of statuary by Lorado 
Taft is erected there, having been paid for by money left for that pur- 
pose by Georgina Trotter. It represents Indian children at play with 

O'Neil Park, a comparatively large tract of land, lies north of Chest- 
nut Street and west of Hinshaw Avenue. It has never been improved to 
any great extent, but serves as playground for amateur baseball clubs and 
other sorts of sport for people in that vicinity. It was bought for $7,200 
under Mayor Carlock, and contains twelve acres. 

From its very early years, Bloomington had had a volunteer fire de- 
partment, the first apparatus being the famous Prairie Bird fire engine, 

128 History of McLean County 

bought in 1855. Cisterns located at convenient points furnished the 
water supply at first. The first engine house was built at 104 North East 
Street, and in 1857 the site of old engine house No. 1 was purchased, and 
an engine house and calaboose combined were erected. The second com- 
pany was organizd in 1858 and another hand engine was bought. Com- 
pany No. 2 occupied rooms at the corner of Front and Madison, then in 
the 200 block West Washington, then in the 100 block North Madison. 
Various other changes in the hand apparatus took place until April, 1867, 
when the first steam engine was purchased and the first paid firemen were 
employed, a driver and engineer. The apparatus and personnel of the 
department continued to expand until along in the '90's, when there were 
three engine houses and two steam engines and many hose and ladder 
trucks. After the disastrous fire of June 19, 1900, the fire department 
was further expanded, until five houses were in use: One on East Front 
in the 200 block; one on North East, 100 block; one in 100 block on North 
Madison; one at Center and Walnut, one in the 900 block on South Main; 
one on West Chestnut near the C. & A. 

During the commission form of government, the whole apparatus 
was changed to motor vehicles and concentrated in the one engine house, 
on East Front Street. Henry Mayer was chief of the fire department for 
twenty-seven years, retiring in 1923, and being succeeded by Rolla Neal, 
the present chief. The apparatus is now thoroughly up to date. 

The superintendent of water works and fire chief were filled jointly 
from the construction of the water works until 1887, and from then to 
1890 were separate. In 1890 the superintendency of the electric light plant 
was joined to that of water superintendent. The following men have held 
the position : M. X. Chuse, E. J. Rowley, M. H. Eldridge, H. W. Schmidt, 
Seth Noble, Chester C. Williams. 

After floundering the black mud of Illinois for many years, Bloom- 
ington undertook in 1869 to do its first paving. Grove Street from Main 
to the Illinois Central was paved with macadam, then Chestnut Street 
from the Alton depot to Center. Pine block pavement was put down on 
Jefferson Street in 1870 under Mayor T. J. Bunn. In 1877 the first brick 
pavement in this city or in the United States was laid by Napoleon B. 
Heafer on the west side of the public square. From that time brick pave- 
ment became standard, and at present there are many miles of brick pave- 

History of McLean County 129 

ment in Bloomington. Many blocks of asphalt and one street of concrete 
road are also laid. 

Bloomington possesses a great system of sewers. The first sewers 
were built to take care of flood waters in the sloughs on West Market and 
North Mason Streets. From 1876 to 1880 sewers were constructed to 
take care of the drainage of the south slough. The great valley sewer, 
taking care of the whole north* and northeast sections, was put down 
in 1900. 

Before the digging of the first coal shaft, known as the north shaft, 
Bloomington had relied on wells for a water supply. The coal mine was 
flooded with water, which eventually proved the wrecking of the mine 
for fuel purposes. However, it discovered the underground lake or river 
which since that time has been the reliance of the city for water supply. 

Tests having failed to exhaust the flow of the undergrounG stream, 
the city bought land in the vicinity of the coal shaft and sank a well and 
constructed a standpipe for pressure purposes. This was in 1874. The 
first plant was completed in 1875 under Mayor Ben F. Funic. The one 
large well supplied the city for 28 years, and then a number of small tube 
wells were sunk as a substitute for the big well. Under Mayor James S. 
Neville a 10,000,000 gallon concrete reservoir was built, into which the 
streams from the wells were pumped. This cost about $30,000, and more 
than justified its cost. 

But in spite of all, occasional dry seasons would bring the visible 
supply so near to exhaustion that the city was constantly threatened with 
water famine in summer or autumn. In 1909, R. L. Carlock was elected 
mayor on a platform of a more suitable water supply. On his accession, 
the council submitted to the people a vote on a bond issue of $150,000 for 
water works extension. The bonds were voted, and the money was wisely 
spent in complete rejuvenation of the water works. Five circular well 
pits were dug, and below them large pipes were sunk into the depths of 
the gravel beds, through which fed the stream. Centrifugal pumps were 
put at work in the bottom of each well pit, thus raising the water into 
pipes, thence emptied into the reservoir. This system was a great im- 
provement over the old one, and justified the expenditures. 

But when the commission form of government was on, the commis- 
sioner of water works, John G. Welch, advocated a new and supplemental 
supply aside from the one from which the city had drawn its supply for 


130 History of McLean County 

30 years. Accordingly a tract of 10 acres was bought a mile west of the 
present plant and located on another lay of ground. Here test wells were 
sunk, showing a remarkable supply of water from an entirely different 
vein. Three wells were then sunk and a covered reservoir built. Pump- 
ing machinery was added, and from the start the plant produced a daily 
supply almost as large as at the old plant. The city now has practically 
two independent sources of supply, with machinery to work either or 
both as occasion requires. The daily capacity of the two plants is about 
three times the requirements of the whole city in ordinary circumstances. 

Since 1890, the city of Bloomington has owned and operated its own 
electric light plant. Prior to that a private corporation, the Blooming- 
ton Electric Light Company, had sold the citjr its current for lights. The 
electric light plant is in the same building as the parent water works, 
thus inducing economy of operation. The equipment of the plant has cost 
upward of $150,000 in its various stages. The city supplies light for 
streets and public buildings, but does not sell current on a commercial 
basis. Some years ago, William R. Bach, then city attorney, estimated 
the yearly cost to the city at $65.37 for each street light, which had been 
reduced from $103 per light when the plant was made a municipal plant. 

A modern experiment in an improved form of municipal government 
was carried on in Bloomington between the years 1915 and 1923. It was 
the adoption of what was called commission form of city government, to 
replace the older form of management by a board of aldermen, which had 
been in vogue since the organization of the city under the general law in 
1897. The agitation for the adoption of the commission form was carried 
on during the year 1913-14, it being claimed by its advocates that a gov- 
ernment composed of five commissioners would be more efficient than the 
larger body of fourteen aldermen which up to that time had had control 
of the city. 

The election to determine whether the citizens desired the new form 
of government was held on April 6, 1914, at which time the vote for and 
against the proposed change stood as follows: For commission form, 
8,970; against, 3,974. Majority for change, 4,996. It required a year to 
work out the details of the change. In the spring of the year 1915, the 
primaries were held to choose eight nominees for commissioners and two 
nominees for mayor. These ten names were then placed on a ballot for 
the election, and from them was elected one mayor and four commission- 

History of McLean County 131 

ers. At the primaries there were 49 candidates for nomination, and from 
these the following were chosen for mayor: Edward E. Jones and John 
W. Rodgers; and for commissioners the following eight names: Edward 
R. Morgan, R. L. Carlock, John F. Anderson, Mrs. Helen Clarke McCurdy, 
George W. Monroe, Alex G. Erickson, Louis F. Rittmiller and W. H. Ker- 
rick. The election was held on April 6, and E. E. Jones was chosen mayor 
and the four commissioners were E. R. Morgan, R. L. Carlock, John F. 
Anderson and A. G. Erickson. 

The council was organized the first of May, with the following assign- 
ment of departments: E. E. Jones, mayor and commissioner of public 
affairs ; Edward R. Morgan, commissioner of accounts and finances ; A. G. 
Erickson, commissioner of public health and safety; John F. Anderson, 
commissioner of streets and public improvements; R. L. Carlock, commis- 
sioner of public property. 

The above five members composed the city council for the four years 
from 1915 to 1919, inclusive. In the latter year the second election was 
held. There were 17 candidates in the primaries for the 10 positions on 
the ticket. E. E. Jones was again nominated for mayor, and his opponent 
was John B. Lennon. The men nominated for commissioners were J. J. 
Nevin, L. J. Salch, A. G. Erickson, E. R. Morgan, John F. Anderson, John 
G. Welch, Frank J. Morgan, and George J. Meyers. All the sitting mem- 
bers of the council were renominated except R. L. Carlock, whose place 
on the 'ballot was taken by John G. Welch. In the succeeding campaign, 
Lennon for mayor and the following candidates for commissioner: Nevin, 
Salch, Meyers and Frank Morgan, ran as a Labor ticket, working as a 
whole against the other candidates known as the administration ticket. 
In the election, Jones was elected mayor by 286 majority over Lennon, 
and the whole "administration ticket" for commissioners were elected, 
E. R. Morgan, Welch, Anderson and Erickson. 

This form of administration continued for another four years from 
from 1919, and in the summer of 1922 a petition was circulated for call- 
ing an election to revert back to the aldermanic form of government. 
R. M. O'Connell served as corporation counsel during the entire commis- 
sion form period. 

The commission form went out of existence in the spring of 1923, 
when the first mayor and board of aldermen under the returned aider- 
manic form were elected. The commission form had existed for eight 

132 History of McLean County 

years, during which conditions in general were much disturbed owing to 
the World War and its resultant upheavals. However, it was generally 
considered that much progress was accomplished during the eight years 
of commission form. In the second term of four years, the only change 
in departments was that in the public property department, where John 
G. Welch succeeded R. L. Carlock, retired. 

In the summer of 1922 an agitation was started for the purpose of 
returning to the former aldermanic form of government, abolishing the 
city commission. This was brought to a head in a petition signed by vot- 
ers which was submitted to the city council asking that an election on 
this question be held. Corporation counsel having examined the petition 
the number of signatures was found to be sufficient and the election was 
held July 11. It was at the period of the great railroad shop strike, and 
many working men of the city were unemployed. This in turn gave rise 
to much general discontent with existing conditions. The vote cast at 
the election was small, only 5,000 of the 14,000 qualified voters of the city 
having cast their ballot. The verdict, however, was for abolishing the 
commission form, the vote standing as follows: For aldermanic form, 
2,846; for commission form, 2,149. Majority for change, 697. The total 
vote cast in the election was very light, being less than 5,000 out of the 
total number of 14,000 registered voters. 

The actual change in the form of the city government did not take 
place until the following spring, in April, 1923. The candidates for mayor 
under the new regime were Frank E. Shorthose, a veteran Alton engi- 
neer, and Emerson J. Gilmore, a business man. Shorthose ran on the 
Republican ticket, Gilmore on the Democratic. Shorthose was elected by 
a vote of 5,222 to 1,800 for Gilmore. 

The aldermen elected in the several wards of the city at this first 
election were as follows: First ward, DeWitt G. Gray and Ralph B. 
Greene; second ward, Val Simshauser and Paul Sholz; third ward, M. B. 
Hayes and Frank H. Blose; fourth ward, G. Noble Paxton and Charles H. 
Kurtz; fifth ward, Richard Barry and Frank J. Donovan; sixth ward, 
I. C. Ryburn and Fred Beckman; seventh ward, Charles H. Lawyer and 
John G. Larson. At the same election, Charles T. Evans was elected su-/ 
perintendent of streets and James H. Kimes, city treasurer. 

The new city administration met and organized in May, 1923, and 
was running along smoothly and with general satisfaction, when Mayor 

History of McLean County 133 

Shorthose was taken sick and died on the night of Jan. 4, 1924. His fu- 
neral at the Consistory on Jan. 7 was one of the largest ever held in the 
city. Frank H. Blouse, who had been elected acting mayor by the council, 
took charge of the executive office and carried on the work of mayor until 
a successor was elected for Mayor Shorthose. 




There is no doubt that the dividing line between the Bloomington of 
the olden days and the Bloomington of the modern era was that night and 
day in June, 1900, when fire swept away the heart of the business section 
of the city and gave room and occasion for the rebuilding of a retail dis- 
trict which has no parallels in the country for a city of the size. 

It was 20 minutes past midnight on June 19, 1900, that an alarm of 
fire was turned in from box 31, located in front of the city hall, at the 
corner of Monroe and East Streets. The fire was located in the basement 
of the B. S. Green building, at that time occupied by the Model Laundry. 
The fire apparently originated in this part of the building. Officer Bren- 
nan first noticed the flames and rang in the alarm. Within a few min- 
utes after the alarm the whole fire fighting force was on the scene, but 
in spite of their efforts the flames spread from the laundry quarters to 
the main portion of the B. S. Green building, and within 20 minutes that 
structure was clearly doomed. 

Fanned by a strong northeast wind, the fire threatened to clear the 
alley to the west and take in the George Brand furniture store and other 
structures facing on Main Street in the 300 block. Efforts of the fire- 
men were confined at this time to trying to check the advance of flames 
westward, but without avail. With the many streams of water drawing 
from the mains and lessening the pressure, and with the strong wind 


History of McLean County 135 

fanning the flame the fire got beyond control, and soon the whole block 
bounded by Main, East, Jefferson and Monroe was in flame, except the 
postoffice, which was saved by its isolated position. 

Terrible as was the destruction up to this time, the story was but 
half told. The fire leaped across Main Street to the west and across Jef- 
ferson Street to the south, and before the dawning of daylight these two 
more blocks were in flames at several points. The tall cupola of the Gries- 
heim Building was first to ignite to the south, and to the west the R. C. 
Rogers Building, the old Ark, the Corn Belt Drug Store, C. W. Klemm's 
Store, The McLean County Coal Company offices, the Stephen Smith's 
Store, New York Store, Wilcox Bros., and other occupants of stores and 
offices rapidly in succession yielded up to the onrushing conflagration. 
To the south, the Griesheim Building, the Cole Bros. Building, the Metro- 
pole, the G. H. Read, and the State National Bank in turn fell victims of 
the devouring flames. 

Can the Court House be saved? This question was upon the lips of 
the watching crowds as the fire leaped from two sides of the county 
building. Apparently the heat was too great for even the stone walls, 
and in time the fire ignited the dome and then ate its way down into the 
upper stories. North and east the fire seemed to be definitely checked 
at Monroe and East Streets, but it was uncertain how far it might spread 
to the south and west. The clock in the dome struck four o'clock, and 
soon afterward the hands stopped moving, the heat having disorganized 
the machinery and put an end to the clock's career. Down into the body 
of the Court House crept the fire, and soon the law library with its 10,000 
volumes, worth $50,000, was ruined. Some of the records of the circuit 
clerk's office on the second floor were damaged, but luckily the fire stopped 
before it got down to the first floor, with its valuable records in the county 
clerk's recorder's and county treasurer's office. 

The open space around the Court House impeded the spread of the 
flames in that direction, but the fire leaped across Center Street and took 
the Windsor Hotel and part of the Fervert Building. It also got over 
Jefferson west of the Court House and attacked the Braley Building. 

It was shortly after two o'clock in the morning that Mayor Thomas, 
Chief Henry Mayer and other city officials came to the conclusion that a 
hurry call for help must be sent out to other cities if any of the business 
district of Bloomington was to be saved. Peoria and Springfield answered 

136 History of McLean County 

this call. A detachment of the Peoria fire department, with engine and 
several firemen, made the run by special train to this city in 58 minutes, 
arriving in Bloomington at 5:10. Peoria was stationed at Jefferson and 
Center Streets, and the Springfield detachment of firemen, who arrived 
soon afterward, were stationed at Washington and Madison, the fire hav- 
ing by that time eaten well into the middle of the block west of the Court 

That these timely arrivals of additional fighting forces had their 
effect in stopping the fire, there is no doubt. It was about seven o'clock 
in the morning that the fire was definitely under control. At that time it 
had burned most of the block bounded by Center, Jefferson, Monroe and 
Madison, and had eaten out a jagged corner of the block bounded by 
Center, Washington, Madison and Jefferson. The upper part of the Court 
House was in ruins, and the fire had been stopped at Washington Street 
south of the Odd Fellows Building, although the heat had damaged the 
First National Bank, on the south side of Washington Street. All the 
burned over district was a chaos of broken walls, smouldering piles, tan- 
gled wires and blockaded streets. Such a spectacle had never before 
greeted the dawn of a morning in the history of Bloomington. Follow- 
ing is the complete list of the buildings and the total losses on buildings 
and contents: 

Griesheim building, Cole Bros, building and store, Meyer & Wochner 
building, George P. Davis building, Mrs. J. H. Merrick building, G. H. 
Read & Bro. building, Odd Fellows building, Livingston Estate building, 
Eagle block, A. Brokaw barn, Mrs. Swayne's Durley building, Jeff Burke 
building, McGregor Estate building, Heafer-McGregor building, R. F. and 
W. L. Evans building, L. H. Weldon building, George Brand building, 
Model Laundry building, B. S. Green building, Hayes Estate building, 
J. W. Evans Estate building, C. W. Klemm building, Thompson building. 
Marble building, Braley building, Stephen Smith building, Phoenix Hotel, 
Belle Plumb building, Hudson Burr building, Samuel Thompson building 
Lyman Graham building, Sans building, Dr. Schroeder building, 0. Helbig 
building, Chris Frevert building, Windsor Hotel, Mahaffey barn, Bruner 
building, J. W. Riggs building, Braley building, Withers Estate building, 
Stepp building, I. H. Johnson building, James Stevenson building, Spring- 
baum building, First National Bank damage, I. Livingston building, 

History of McLean County 137 

George Hanna building, Court House, Second Presbyterian Church dam- 
age, law library and many miscellaneous losses. 

Grand total of losses $2,032,000. Grand total of insurance, $864,238. 

The ashes of the business district of the fire of June 19, 1900, had not 
yet cooled, and streams of water from several fire engines were still pour- 
ing upon the smoking embers, when the owners and managers of the vari- 
ous establishments had already begun to make plans for getting back into 
business and to rebuild the burned district in better shape than it ever 
was before. Signs hurriedly painted were stuck up at many points of the 
smoking ruins, telling the temporary locations of the different business 
concerns. Meantime architects and contractors were besieged with own- 
ers of the burned buildings to get plans quickly made and the materials 
on hand for constructing new buildings where the old had stood. Sites 
of the burned structures were cleared at once in many cases, and enlarged 
and modernized structures were planned for these sites. 

It is impossible to tell the story in detail of the rebuilding of the 
burned district of the city. Suffice it to say that when the first anniver- 
sary of the great fire rolled round, a large proportion of the district had 
new structures already completed or at least under way. 

The fire having occurred almost at the middle of the building season, 
it behooved the owners of the buildings to get quick action if they were 
to get their new structures ready for occupancy by the coming of winter. 

In honor of the energy and optimism shown by the business men in 
their active working in rebuilding, the citizens planned a jubilee celebra- 
tion for June 19, 1901, the first anniversary of the fire. At that' time 
over $1,300,000 had already been expended for new structures. 

The Court House which had stood as the seat of justice in the county 
since 1868, was badly damaged by the fire. On the day following the 
conflagration, the board of supervisors met in special session to take ac- 
tion on the repair or rebuilding of the Court House. A contract was Jet 
on July 6 for the tearing down of the dome and upper stories. This work 
was completed in August, and by that time it was seen that the whole 
structure was too much damaged to be rebuilt economically. After some 
discussion, the contract was let to the Peoria Stone and Marble Works to 
complete the demolition, and this same firm secured the contract to erect 
the building. How the building was to be paid for was one of the big 

138 History of McLean County 

problems. At a meeting of the board of supervisors on October 31, at 
which it was decided to submit to the voters of the county at the Novem- 
ber election the proposition of a bond issue of $400,000 to pay for the new 
Court House. The bonds were to run five years. The voters gave a large 
affirmative majority for the bonds, and this end of the enterprise was 

The first stone of the Court House was laid on Dec. 28, 1900. The 
lower walls had been completed to the point of laying the corner stone, 
and this ceremony was held on May 22, 1901. There was a grand parade 
of military and civic bodies, and these gathered at the Court House, with 
a great crowd of the civilian population. The address of the day was 
made by Grand Master Hitchcock of the Illinois Grand Lodge of the An- 
cient Free and Accepted Masons. The Court House was completed and 
dedicated in the summer of 1902. 

At the end of the first year, the following new buildings had been 
completed or were under course of construction: 

Court House — cost in round numbers — $400,000; New Illinois Hotel, 
$115,000; Griesheim building, $105,000; Corn Belt Bank building, $70,000; 
C. W. Klemm building, $30,000 ; Livingston-Strouse building, $25,000 ; Mc- 
Gregor building, $15,000; Burr building, $6,000; Belle Plumb building, 
$5,000; Cole Bros, building, $30,000; McLean Co. Coal Co., $15,000; Gra- 
ham building, $4,000 ; Durley building, $65,000 ; Brand building, $20,000 ; 
Winter building, $7,000; Evans Estate building, $25,000; Marble-Thomp- 
son building, $30,000; Odd Fellows building, $30,000; Stephen Smith's 
Sons building, $35,000; Weldon building, $15,000; Metropole Hotel, $35,- 
000 ; Unity building, $80,000 ; B. S. Green building, $25,000 ; Braley build- 
ing, $15,000; Model Laundry building, $10,000; Braley-Field building, 
$14,000; Jeffry Burke building, $12,000; Frevert building, $15,500; Col. 
Smith building, $10,000; repairs made necessary by fire, $20,000; other 
new business houses, $35,000. 

Grand total for first year's buildings, $1,304,500. 




The development of the town of Normal from a straggling village 
into a modern little city with every convenience and facility of many a 
larger place, may be roughly traced back to a period of 25 years ago. At 
that time began the era of building of pavements, concrete sidewalks and 
modern systems of sewerage disposal. This development had its reflex 
effect upon property values in Normal, and thus added to the revenues 
with which to continue and expand this spirit of development. 

It may be worth while to attempt a picture of Normal in the earlier 
days of its existence as a corporation. It was of course built up around 
the Normal University, and its whole sustenance in fact was drawn from 
the students of that institution and those who indirectly depended upon 
it. The student populations were housed in many "clubs," or co-opera- 
tive boarding houses, where some property owner, often a woman, would 
take a number of students for boarding and rooming them. The club 
commissary would be in charge of a steward who had charge of the buy- 
ing of provisions and collecting from each member of the club his or her 
proportionate share of the cost of the raw materials. The woman who 
owned the house would do the cooking and serving of the meals for an 
agreed upon consideration. 

Other than the Normal University and the life centering around it, 
for the first 25 years of the town's history, there were principally two 


140 History of McLean County 

other interests in which greater or less numbers of men and their fami- 
lies depended for their livelihood. These were the nurseries and the horse 
business. The nurseries were numerous, and at one time Normal as a 
nursery center had few rivals in the United States, at least in the mid- 
dle west. Hundreds of acres surrounding the town proper were set out 
in nursery stock, and during the two main shipping months of the year, 
April and October, the nursery grounds and packing houses were exceed- 
ingly busy places, employing scores of men in getting the stock from the 
grounds and packing it for shipment to all parts of the country. In later 
years, the nursery business declined to some extent, owing to widespread 
competition, but there are still several nurseries in and near Normal 
which have a flourishing business. The oldest of these is the Augustine 
nursery, which has been in successful operation for nearly a half century. 
The very earliest nursery in this vicinity was run by Nelson Buck, and 
Jesse W. Fell, with his brothers, Joshua, Thomas, Kersey and Robert, 
managed several acres of nursery grounds. But the man best known in 
the nursery history of McLean County was Franklin K. Phoenix, who ran 
a large nursery for 20 years prior to the '70's. Then there were Cyrus 
W. Overman, W. H. Mann, and Dr. H. Schroeder. Jesse W. Fell was noted 
for his penchant for planting trees, and his habit made Normal one of 
the best shaded towns in the country, a true atmosphere for scholastic 

The other business enterprise which grew up alongside of the educa- 
tional center of Normal was that of the importing, breeding and dealing 
in heavy horses. This business was of slow growth, like many others, 
but when it had attained its peak the town of Normal became the draft 
horse center of the state if not of the middle west. There were several 
firms and individuals who engaged in the trade to the extent of hundreds 
of thousands of dollars each year. The principal men who made Normal 
famous as a horse center were the Dillons. There were several of the Dil- 
lon brothers, and all had interests in the business. There was Isaiah, 
Levi, Doff and Melvin Dillon, who for 25 years maintained great barns 
filled with heavy draft horses imported direct from France and England 
or other European countries, or bred from the horses which they had im- 
ported. The plan on which they worked was to go to Europe and buy 
up several scores of fine draft animals of the Percheron, Clydesdale, 
Norman or Belgian stock, then ship them here to their barns, where they 

History of McLean County 141 

were kept until certain specified dates, when great auction sales of the 
horses would be held. These sales were usually held in February, or per- 
haps again in the autumn. Buyers would come here from all parts of the 
country, and the competitive bidding for the animals was- spirited and 
profitable for the sellers. For several days after each of these sales, the 
outgoing freight trains would contain carloads of horses bought here and 
shipped to distant points. 

The town of Normal in these days of the early university, of the first 
nurseries and the horse barns, was an overgrown village with but meager 
physical improvements. It had no electric lights, practically no sewer- 
age system, no street pavements, and was connected with Bloomington 
by a crude railway with dummy engines drawing small cars, then by 
mules as the locomotive power. Long after street paving and sewerage 
systems in Bloomington had been constructed on modern lines, Normal 
was still floundering in the mud. The first use of electricity in Normal 
was that from a home-made plant of small capacity and meager equip- 
ment. This plant was destroyed by an explosion and fire, and afterward 
the town concluded to buy its current from the Bloomington & Normal 
Electric Lighting Company. 

The municipal affairs of the town had got into a rut, this condition 
having resulted from many years of loose financing in which each year 
the expenditures were greater than the income. There was no chance 
of the town undertaking a list of improvements such as pavement and 
sewer building unless relief could be secured from this overhanging debt. 

Beginning with the year 1900, we will trace the history of the town 
administration and try to outline the changes which took place and which 
marked the modern era in Normal. The names of two men who were 
mayors at this period stand out prominently: Otto Seibert, who was re- 
elected mayor in 1900, had already served two terms. With him were 
elected as councilmen Edward Metcalf, James Hoselton, George H. Coen, 
R. M. Huffington and Charles J. Cole. Mayor Seibert was re-elected each 
year afterward up to and including 1904. The next council contained the 
same men, with the exception of Thomas Sylvester, who succeeded Huf- 
fington. The following year, 1902, new members of the council were 
elected in the persons of D. C. Smitson, Frank Custer and George War- 
ner, Jr. In 1903 a new council came in, composed of R. M. Huffington, 
E. G. Sage, J. W. Evans, J. K. McGowan and Charles Shadle. The last 

142 History of McLean County 

council that served with Mayor Seibert was composed of Messrs. Metcalf, 
Hoselton, Huffington, Shadle and J. W. Evans. Mayor Seibert had been 
a business man in Normal for many years, and he might have been re- 
elected as mayor for still further terms had he not voluntarily retired. 
The hold-over deficit which had been the bane of many council still hung 
on at this period. 

A change in the mayor's tenure of office, and also of the councilmen, 
took place at this time under a new state law, they being elected for two 
years instead of one. Edward J. Metcalf was the first mayor elected 
under the two-year rule, and with him the council were J. C. Hoselton, 
R. M. Huffington, J. W. Evans, L. A. Hinton and J. E. Crew. The same 
council served under the second year of Mayor Metcalf, except that J. H. 
Riley was elected to succeed Evans. 

The year 1907 was an important one in the history of modern Nor- 
mal, for that year the citizens organized to elect a council that they 
thought would start the town on a new era. 0. L. Manchester, professor 
of economics in the Normal University, was put up for mayor, with the 
backing of the Normal Improvement Association, an organization of pro- 
gressive citizens. He was elected, and along with him were elected as 
councilmen, A. J. Bill, 0. R. Ernst, F. E. Putnam, Prof. James Adams 
and Prof. F. D. Barber. This administration tackled the problem of the 
old deficit in city finances. This deficit amounted to about $14,000, or 
about the whole municipal income from one year's taxes. After looking 
over the situation, the council took the advice of Jacob P. Lindley, the 
town's attorney, and decided to convert this floating debt into a bonded 
indebtedness. It could not be done the first year, and in fact it was not 
until 1912 that the question of issuing bonds for this sum was put up 
to the people at the election. It readily carried, however, for the vote in 
favor of the bonds was 179, and against, 83. The old debt was covered 
by the bonds, and in due time the bonds were paid off by increased assess- 
ments, and thus the "hoodoo debt" which had been hanging over the city 
for many years was taken care of. The Manchester administration also 
sought out properties which had previously escaped taxation, and in this 
way added considerable to the city's income. 

Mayor Manchester and his progressive council had not been in office 
long before they set about on a program of physical improvements. They 
outlined a set of proposed street pavements which covered most of the 

History of McLean County 143 

principal streets of the city. Prior to that time there were only two 
blocks of brick pavement in the town, they being on Beaufort and North, 
in the business section. The people seemed to have confidence in the 
administration, for they backed the pavement program. Not that all 
the councilmen were re-elected, for the year 1908 saw a whole new coun- 
cil elected in the persons of George W. Bentley, L. A. Hinton, Ira C. Simp- 
son, Jesse H. Riley and Ray Fairfield. The following year Bentley, Riley, 
Hinton and Fairfield were re-elected, while the new councilman was E. 

C. Buck. The following year, 1910, a change in law permitted of the 
election of six councilmen instead of five, for a term of two years instead 
of one. The men elected were Ray Fairfield, L. A. Hinton, J. H. Riley, 
T. T. Hunter, G. W. Bentley and E. C. Buck. Mayor Manchester was 
re-elected the next sprng for a two-year term, and with him Bentley, 
Riley, J. E. Hatfield and Dr. H. G. McCormick. The year that the bonds 
were approved, the members of council elected were Fairfield, McCor- 
mick and Hunter. Only one change occurred in the council next year, 

D. E. Denman being elected a new member. 

This was 1914, and that year one of the most important additions 
ever made to Normal came up for consideration, it being B. M. Kuhn's 
addition, known as Cedar Crest. Mr. Kuhn had platted a large vacant 
tract at the south end of Normal, where his home had stood for many 
years. He laid out curved drives, and displayed plans for building many 
new homes. The council finally admitted this addition, and it now con- 
tains many fine modern homes. It is at the south end of Broadway, 
which was one of the finest streets improved under the Manchester pav- 
ing program. 

When Mayor Manchester was re-elected for the last time, in 1915, 
it was the first time women had voted in the city election, and there was 
the largest vote ever cast. By this time the people recognized the work 
that had been done — the old hoodoo debt discharged, many streets paved 
and sewered, the water works rebuilt and many other improvements 
made. The salary of the office of mayor is only $300 per year, and it was 
recognized that this was small compensation for the time and work 
which the office entails. In the second year of Mayor Manchester's last 
term, the councilmen elected were George T. Lentz, William S. Sylvester 
and J. L. Wolcott. 

In 1917, Mayor Manchester declined to run again for the office, and 

144 History of McLean County 

John A. Goodwin, who had previously been in the council, was chosen 
mayor. With him were elected C. L. White, Frank S. Foulk, George 
Pickering and C. E. Johnson. Mayor Goodwin occupied the executive 
office in one of the most trying periods in the history of the city, for 
it was the two years during which the United States was engaged in 
the World war. Ordinary business of the city had to be largely sus- 
pended, while the energies of the city fathers as well as of other cit- 
izens, were devoted to war work. The mayor and council assisted notably 
in drives for the Red Cross, liberty loans and in many other ways. Nor- 
mal was the scene of notable accomplishments in war work during these 
two years. The new councilmen in the second year of Mayor Goodwin's 
administration were Roy Bryant, Wm. Sylvester and C. E. Johnson. 

Mayor Goodwin declined to stand for re-election in 1919, and the 
office was filled by the election of Frank S. Foulk, former councilman, 
who is still mayor (1924). The first council elected with Mayor Foulk 
were George Pickering, Roy Bates, James Hanna, H. W. Adams, Harry 
Bomgardner. The members elected to council in 1920 were Bomgardner, 
Sylvester and Palmer Q. Moore. 

Mayor Foulk was re-elected in 1921 and again in 1923. Messrs. 
Bates, Pickering and Enos Stewart were elected to council in 1921, and 
in 1922 those elected were J. W. Kirkton, Alva E. Briscoe, and Warren 
White. In this year, E. A. Tobias was elected for the first time city clerk, 
an office he still holds. The councilmen elected in 1923 were Pickering, 
Park C. Gillespie and Charles E. Clark. For the election of 1924 the 
council members elected were W. H. Johnson, R. E. Herr and Warren 
White. The city clerk chosen was E. A. Tobias, and the police magis- 
trate was Fred Goff. 

Two organizations stand out in their influence for the good of Nor- 
mal in the past 20 years. They are the Woman's Improvement League 
and the Normal Commercial Club. The Woman's Improvement League 
was formed some 15 years ago or more, and has accomplished many 
notable things. One of these was the creation and construction of the 
Jesse Fell Memorial gateway at the Normal University in honor of the 
man who had most to do with the early history of Normal and the loca- 
tion here of the great university. 

The Normal Commercial Club is an organization of more recent 
date than the Woman's Improvement League. However, it has done 

History of McLean County 145 

much for the community since it was formed. It has rented club rooms 
and furnished them for the comfort and convenience of its members, 
which include most of the leading business and professional men of Nor- 

Coincident with the growth of the spirit of public improvement, the 
business and commercial interests of Normal have expanded. The busi- 
ness section of the city some 25 years ago included about two blocks of 
stores of one kind and another, most of them rather old and out of date 
and representing comparatively small stocks and furnishings. Today, 
the retail section of the city has spread out to take in parts of two other 
blocks, and the general character of the stores has improved and been 
modernized to a very noticeable extent. The lines of business have also 
been enlarged, several prosperous stores now existing handling merchan- 
dise which a few years ago could not be secured in Normal at all. There 
are two banks where for many years was only one. A weekly newspaper 
of live contents and enterprising editorship has for many years flour- 
ished. Several professional men in various lines have built up profitable 
clientage. Where formerly the people of Normal thought they had to 
go to Bloomington for any of their requirements in many lines, they now 
patronize Normal stores and shops. 

No doubt the establishment of the summer school at the Univer- 
sity has had much to do with modern business life in Normal. Formerly 
there were three months of the year when Normal was practically "dead," 
for the student population had vanished and the townspeople lived only 
in anticipation of the opening of the next fall term of school and the 
returns of the transients. Now, those days have gone forever. The 
summer time sees even a larger student population than the winter 
terms, and things are as lively during the heated period as in other 
seasons. Consequently merchants and tradesmen can figure on a trade 
more evenly spread over the whole year than they formerly could, when 
all their profit had to be made in nine months. 

Normal has one large and up-to-date country club, the Maplewood. 
This club acquired the old homestead of W. A. Watson and improved 
the residence into a modern country club house. The large grounds were 
made into golf links, one of the best courses in the state. The member- 
ship of the club is largely made up of Normal people, although many 
Bloomington people also belong. 





Men of McLean County have taken part in five different wars of the 
nation since the county was organized. The first was the Black Hawk 
war with Indians. Then came the Mexican war, the Civil war, the Span- 
ish-American, and finally the great World war. 

Military participation of men in this county in the war of the whites 
against Black Hawk, the Indian chief, was on a small scale as compared 
with later wars. But nevertheless in relation to the number of settlers 
in the county at that time, the number of men sent out was remarkably 
large. Indians who inhabited the territory of Illinois had by the years 
1830-31 passed to the- west side of the Mississippi river, and by treaty 
with the United States agreed to stay there. The Sacs and Foxes of 
Northern Illinois were the principal tribes. Black Hawk had fought with 
the British against the Americans in 1812 and felt hostility toward the 
settlers, hence he never gave his full-hearted consent to the agreement 
to go beyond the Mississippi. By the spring of 1832 he had stirred up a 
band of warriors of his tribe, who to the number of 700 or 800 came 
back into the Illinois lands with warlike intentions. Fragments of other 
tribes joined them. The governor of Illinois called for volunteers among 
the white settlers to repel the invasion of hostile red men. 

McLean County furnished two companies, with Capt. Merrit L. Co- 
vell in charge of one and Capt. William McClure in charge of the other. 


History of McLean County 147 

There was also a third company enrolled later. They joined the Fifth 
regiment of mounted volunteers, under command of Col. James Johnson. 
Both of the McLean County companies rendezvoused at Dixon, but Capt. 
McClure's company did not reach there in time to join in Maj. Stillman's 

The companies from this count}' and the others composing the vol- 
unteer force refused to attach themselves to the force of United States 
troops, for they said they had enlisted to hunt Indians, and to hunt In- 
dians they were going. Finally Maj. Stillman got an order from Gov. 
Reynolds to proceed northward and find the hostile Indians. 

On the 13th of May the Illinois volunteer force set out to find the 
red men, and the result was a battle between the forces, in which the 
Indians outnumbered the whites and sadly defeated them. The battle 
became known as Stillman's Run. The force under Maj. Stillman was 
wholly untrained and poorly armed, and their defeat was the result of 
their raw condition, from a military sense, and not from lack of bravery. 
In spite of this initial defeat, the Illinois volunteers later succeeded in 
driving Black Hawk and his hostile tribes back to the region west of the 

The list of men who went out from McLean County included Capt. 
M. L. Covell, First Lieut. Asahel Gridley, Second Lieut. Moses Baldwin, 
Sergts. Bailey H. Coffey, David Simmons and William McCullough, Pri- 
vates Thomas 0. Rutledge, Michael Gates, James Philips, James K. Oren- 
dorff, Isaac Murphy, Samuel Durley, Clement Oatman, James Paul, Reu- 
ben Windham, John Vittito, Jesse VanDolah, George Wiley, Benjamin 
Conger, Joseph Draper and Mr. Harris. 

The Black Hawk war meant much to McLean County. This county 
was then the northern frontier of white settlements in Illinois. Black 
Hawk had tried to get the Pottawatomies and the Kickapoos to join his 
warlike band. There was a settlement of Kickapoos at Oliver's Grove in 
Livingston County, and a delegation of white men from McLean County, 
under Gen. Bartholomew, was sent to learn their intentions. The Indians 
responded that they were friendly. 

In spite of this fact, four block houses were built in McLean County 
as protection against possible hostilities. One was at the Bartholomew 
settlement in Money Creek Township, one in the Henline settlement, a 
third the John Paton house in Lexington township, and the fourth in 

148 History of McLean County 

Little Vermilion settlement of Livingston County. The Kickapoos re- 
mained friendly and refused to take the warpath for the benefit of Black 

One of the most disagreeable duties of the men from McLean County 
who took part in the war was the burial of the dead at Indian Creek, a 
white settlement in LaSalle County which was attacked and its people 
massacred by the Indians after the defeat and retreat of Stillman's army. 
They found the bodies of the whites horribly mutilated by the brutality 
of the redskins. The two companies then returned to McLean County 
and were mustered out. 

In June of the same year another company was mustered in for home 
guard duty. Its officers were Capt. Covell, First Lieut. William Dimmitt 
and Second Lieut. Richard Edwards. It patrolled the southern border 
of Livingston County to prevent any possible incursions of hostile In- 
dians from that quarter. However, it never encountered any, and after 
a month of service was disbanded. After the Black Hawk war, the fear 
of Indians passed away forever from the people of McLean County. 

Mexican War. 

McLean County furnished one company to be part of the Fourth 
regiment of Illinois volunteers to take part with the forces of the United 
States in the war against Mexico in 1846-47. The formation of the com- 
pany was the outgrowth of a public meeting held in Bloomington June 
13, 1846, called by Gen. Gridley, who had been an officer in the Black 
Hawk war. He addressed the meeting and urged the young men to en- 
list and "go" to the war. Immediately afterward, John Moore, a prom- 
inent politician, made a speech in which he said, "Come with me." He 
himself was going to enlist. The result was the enrollment of a full com- 
pany of 103 men, with Dr. Garret B. Elkin for captain, Lieut. Gov. John 
Moore as first lieutenant, James Withers and William L. Duncan as second 

The company went to Springfield next day in wagons, and on find- 
ing that they had to enlist for a year, many of the young men returned 
home. The company was filled with men from other counties, and Andrew 
J. Wallace succeeded John Moore as first lieutenant. On the 26th of 
June, the company having been filled, marched overland to Alton, thence 

History of McLean County 149 

to Jefferson barracks at St. Louis, where Edward Baker was elected 
colonel of the regiment, John Moore of McLean County lieutenant-colonel, 
and Thomas L. Harris major. For six weeks the regiment drilled at St. 
Louis, and became the best volunteer regiment in the middle west, be- 
ing known as "Baker's boys." July 22 they boarded steamer for New 
Orleans, thence by sailing vessels on the gulf to the mouth of the Rio 
Grande river. Up the Rio Grande they went to their first expedition 
on Mexican soil. They camped successively at Camp Belknap, Camp Pat- 
terson and on the 26th of September they set out for Matamoros. On 
the 9th of October the regiment was ordered to reinforce Gen. Taylor 
at the seige of Monterey. They reached Camargo, but not in time to rein- 
force Taylor. They spent three months of miserable existence in this 
camp, subject to inaction and all the diseases and other evils of camp 
life, on the chapparal plains of Mexico. The heat and unsanitary con- 
ditions caused much sickness and many deaths. Nearly 100 men of the 
Fourth regiment died, and hundreds of others were discharged as in- 
curable invalids. 

On Dec. 11 the regiment left Matamoros and marched to Victoria, 
being under command of Gen. Pillow of the division commanded by Gen. 
Patterson. Leaving Victoria they marched to Tampico, reaching the 
latter place Jan. 27, 1847. While the regiment was at Victoria, it was 
reviewed by Gen. Taylor, commander-in-chief of the American forces in 
Mexico. He received a great ovation. His forces numbered 6,000 men. 
Gen. Pillow, in direct command of the Illinois regiment, was exceedingly 
unpopular among the men, because of his cold-blooded selfish disregard 
for the comfort of the men. The march to Tampico was a repetition of 
that on Victoria, with something of the same suffering for lack of water, 
from the heat and rough nature of the country. They reached Tampico 
Jan. 24. The regiment carried a wagon train of 150 wagons. 

On the 7th of March the Fourth regiment embarked on sailing ves- 
sels for Vera Cruz, the seaport of the capital. The regiment landed at 
Vera Cruz on the 20th, and prepared for a siege of the place, which was 
defended by a wall and forts. The attacking force consisted of Gen. 
Pillow's, Gen. Patterson's and Gen. Quitman's brigades. The Fourth 
regiment assisted in mounting a heavy naval battery close to the city, 
which was kept masked until the proper time should come to open up. 
The other parts of the besieging force bombarded the city from Jan. 22 

150 History of McLean County 

to 24. On the morning of the latter day, the big naval battery was un- 
masked and opened on the city with deadly effect. The walls and forts 
crumbled under the heavy fire, and on the 25th a white flag of truce was 
sent out by the beleaguered garrison to negotiate terms of surrender. 
On the 27th the city and all public stores were surrendered to Gen. Scott, 
the commander. The loss of the Americans was fourteen killed, while 
the Mexicans lost between 500 and 1,000. The Mexican force surren- 
dered amounted to 4,500 men. 

From Vera Cruz, the division of which the Fourth regiment was 
part, marched toward the capital, along the national highway. They 
had gone on until the 12th of April, when they heard sound of cannon 
ahead and immediately prepared for battle. They found themselves sup- 
porting the retreat of Gen. Twiggs' force, which had met the enemy in 
large numbers at Cerro Gordo. On the afternoon of the 12th, supplies 
and ammunition having been issued, orders were given to proceed next 
morning to attack the enemy. But Gen. Patterson arose from a sick bed 
to countermand the orders of Gens. Pillow, Twiggs and Shields, thereby 
averting what would probably have been an ignoble defeat. But Gen. 
Scott arrived on the 14th, and then the army was confident that they 
could advance under the wise leadership of their commanding general. 
Some of the daring spirits of the Fourth Illinois succeeded in dragging 
6 and 12 pound cannon to the top of some of the hills overlooking Cerro 
Gordo, and when the action opened the Mexicans were surprised as well 
as dumbfounded by this feat. 

In the battle of Cerro Gordo, General Twiggs' division had the lead, 
with the Fourth Regiment, under General Shields assigned to the task of 
advancing over a difficult piece of ground. General Shields was seriously 
wounded in the charge, and Colonel Baker succeeded to the command. 
The enemy were so surprised and overwhelmed with the bravery of the 
advance, that they fled, leaving some of their cannon loaded, which the 
Americans turned and fired at the retreating masses. 

It was in this battle that the famous incident occurred when Gen- 
eral Santa Ana of the Mexican army fled, leaving his wooden leg behind 
in a vehicle. Lieut. William L. Duncan of Company B, who was in com- 
mand of B and G companies, told the authentic version of this incident, 
saying that men of the two companies observed a large carriage aban- 
doned at an angle of the road, and he gave the order to B and H com- 

History of McLean County 151 

panies to charge the Mexicans seen near the carriage. They saw Gen. 
Santa Ana mounted on a mule and fleeing from the scene. Private Ed- 
ward Elliott of B company was the man who actually found the wooden 
leg in the carriage. After being examined by many men of the com- 
pany, the relic was carried off by a G company man. The companies 
also found much gold coin in the carriage, which they guarded until it 
was taken in charge by an aide from General Twiggs' staff for the 

The Fourth Regiment lost six men killed and eleven wounded in this 
action. On the 19th of April, the regiment received orders at Jalapa to 
return home. They started for Vera Cruz on May 6, and reached New 
Orleans on the 14th. They remained there until May 22, when they 
were discharged and returned home. 

The Mexican War proved a school of instruction for many of the 
men who 20 years later became prominent military leaders in the Civil 
War. The Illinois General Assembly in 1849 directed the governor to 
buy swords suitably inscribed, to be presented to General Shields and 
each of the field officers from this state who were engagd in the Mexican 
War. One of these swords was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Moore of 
McLean County, and this sword is now in possession of the McLean 
County Historical Society. 




Little can we conceive at this day and generation of the bitterness 
of the political campaign which preceded the presidential election of 1860, 
in which there were four candidates, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Doug- 
las, John C. Breckenridge and John Bell. Lincoln and Douglas were both 
from the state of Illinois, Breckenridge from Kentucky and Bell from 
Tennessee. Lincoln had been nominated by the then comparatively young 
Republican party; Douglas was the candidate of the northern Democrats, 
while Bell and Breckenridge were put up by the southern Democrats. 
Breckenridge was the candidate of the secession wing of his party — the 
element which believed the slave states of the south should withdraw 
from the Union and form a Confederacy or nation of their own. 

Political sentiment in McLean County was unanimously against the 
idea that part of the states might secede peaceably from the Union. The 
Republican and Democratic parties alike were pledged not to interfere 
with slavery in the states where it was already established, but the Re- 
publicans also wanted to vote slavery out of any new states admitted. 
Speculation before the election of 1860 was to the effect that either Lin- 
coln would be elected by getting the necessary 180 electoral votes, or else 
that no candidate would have a majority and the election would be 
thrown into the house; no one thought that Douglas would win. It is 
interesting to recall the vote in McLean County in that historic election. 


of me. 

! •MflKV 

History of McLean County 153 

Lincoln received 3,547, Douglas 2,567, Bell 58, and Breckenridge 7. Lin- 
coln received 172,161 votes in the state of Illinois, Douglas 160,215, Bell 
4,913, and Breckenridge 2,404. 

After Lincoln's election, and before his inauguration, plans were 
going forward in the south for the withdrawal of the slave states and the 
forming of a new Confederacy. Between December and March, the fol- 
lowing states had formally seceded: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, 
Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. These six states held a meeting in 
February, 1861, and formed the Southern Confederacy. A few months 
later, and after war had actually broken out, the states of Texas, Ten- 
nessee, Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia, joined them. 

Public sentiment in the country was in a turmoil when Lincoln took 
office, on March 4, 1861. No one knew what would happen next. During 
Buchanan's term, after Lincoln's election, the men from the south in 
Congress and elsewhere, had conspired to weaken the arms of the gov- 
ernment in every way, so that the military and naval establishment was 
broken down when Lincoln stepped in. A peace convention had been called, 
but it came to nothing, and things were still in this state of uncertainty, 
when on April 12, 1861, the United States flag on Fort Sumter was fired 
upon, and after a brief resistance the garrison surrendered. 

In spite of the lack of telephones, radio messages and with only 
crude telegraphic facilities, the news of the precipitation of the country 
into war came like a flash to McLean County. On April 15, President 
Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to serve three months. The 
response in McLean County was instant. It would be hard to describe 
the scenes enacted in Bloomington and in every other town of the county. 

On the next night after the President's proclamation, the 16th, a 
public meeting was held at Phoenix Hall, and a muster roll of a military 
company was made up. It was rapidly signed, and on the 18th, only three 
days after the President's call, a company of 113 young men left Bloom- 
ington for Springfield under command of Captain Harvey, a veteran of 
the Mexican War. 

The scene at the departure of this first company of volunteers from 
Bloomington was memorable; would that we had a moving picture of it. 
The entire population gathered at the old C. & A depot north of Chestnut 
Street, to bid good-bye to the boys who were going, as many thought, to 
certain death. Such scenes were repeated many times in the succeeding 

154 History of McLean County 

four years as company after company went off to war, but the later scenes 
lacked some of the novelty and dramatic interest which attached to the 
first. The company went to Cairo, where they saw no actual warfare, 
but many of them suffered from sickness and lack of sanitary conditions 
in camp. At the end of their three months' service practically all of them 
returned home in July. But the company re-enlisted for three years un- 
der the President's second call, and became Company K of the Eighth 
Illinois. Captain Harvey, who continued as company commander under 
the reorganization, lost his life in battle at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. The 
lieutenant was Joseph G. Howell, who had been in charge of the model 
school in Normal and resigned to enter the army. He was killed at Fort 
Donnelson in February, 1862. Howell and Harvey were highly honored 
and long held in memory in McLean County as the first officers that fell 
in battle in the Civil War. A great public funeral was held here for 
Lieutenant Howell, whose body was brought back for burial. A marble 
tablet in the halls at Normal commemorate his service. 

Five other companies of three months' men were offered in the weeks 
immediately after Company K departed. The state could accept but one 
such company. During May and June recruiting continued at gigantic 
strides. It was seen that the war would not end in thirty days, and that 
three-year enlistments would be necessary. When the latter call came, 
each congressional district in Illinois was asked to furnish a regiment. 

But how to feed and equip them? The general government could 
not do it; its resources were overtaxed. So far as McLean County is con- 
cerned, the board of supervisors came to the rescue. This body had been 
organized only three years, having first been formed in 1857. Just a 
week after the departure of Captain Harvey's company for the front, the 
board met. Two days later it passed a resolution framed by the chairman 
of the committee, Owen T. Reeves, to vote $10,000 "to defray the neces- 
sary expense of enrolling, equipping and provisioning such persons as had 
volunteered or may volunteer in defense of their country." There was 
only $2,000 in the treasury, but a committee was appointed to borrow 
the money for this first appropriation. 

Volunteers continued to pour into Bloomington, and five other com- 
panies were formed captained by Pullen, Hely, Friccui and Ewing. The 
committee of the board of supervisors had to find places to shelter 

History of McLean County 155 

them, and this they did in taverns, boarding and private houses. The old 
fair grounds was rented and "Camp Gridley" was established. 

This example of McLean County appropriating money to equip and 
feed the recruits, was followed by many other counties of the state. The 
sum of $10,000 was appropriated each succeeding year of the war by the 
board for this purpose, and the records show that during the war the 
board voted $411,124 for uniforming and equipping volunteers and tor 
aid to their families. 

The McLean County Historical Society in 1899 published a large vol- 
ume under the heading of "War Record of McLean County," which the 
board of supervisors assisted in financing in order to preserve to posterity 
the proud record made by the county in the earlier wars, including the 
Civil and the Spanish wars. 

Through the generosity of the county, the number of enlisted men 
here was kept far in advance of the calls by the government for quotas 
from this county. Therefore, in order to get into action sooner, some of 
the young men accepted service as part of Missouri regiments, the quotas 
from that state being hard to fill on account of part of the population 
being secessionist in sympathy. Capt. Giles A. Smith led a company 
from McLean County which became Company D and E of the Eighth 
Missouri, in June, 1861. Captain Smith became colonel of this regi- 
ment, and later in the war was promoted to brigadier-general and then 
major-general. The Eighth Missouri made a fine record in the war, and 
no small part of it belongs to the men of McLean County. A fine oil 
painting of Capt. Giles A. Smith is the property of the McLean County 
Historical Society, having been donated by a daughter in Switzerland 
many years afterward. 

The First Missouri Engineers, under command of Bissell, was also 
made up in part by men from McLean County. 

The first year of the war, contingents of recruits from McLean 
County were accepted for service in the Seventh, Ninth, Thirteenth, Six- 
teenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Illinois Regiments. 
Company E of the Fourteenth contained thirty McLean County men. 
This regiment was commanded by Gen. John M. Palmer, afterward gov- 
ernor. A full company, under Capt. J. 0. Pullen, went into the Twentieth 
Illinois. R. N. Evans of this company became a major. Capt. Jonathan 

156 History of McLean County 

H. Rowell enlisted in May, 18.61, in Company G, Seventeenth Illinois, and 
was made captain in May, 1862, "for meritorious service at the battle of 
Pittsburgh Landing - ." Company B of the Twenty-fourth Illinois was 
made up of 75 Germans from McLean County, under Captain Heinrichs, 
Julius Frisch lieutenant. The Twenty-fourth was Colonel Hecker's Ger- 
man regiment, which saw service in a dozen battles and lost many brave 

As early as July, 1861, a company of cavalry was organized in this 
county from young men who were expert horsemen. This was under 
Capt. John McNulta, who afterward became Colonel of the Ninety-fourth 
Illinois Infantry. The cavalry company became Company A, First Illi- 
nois Cavalry, and was sent to Lexington, Mo., to join other forces. Here 
the Federal force was surprised Sept. 20, 1861, by Gen. Sterling Price, 
commanding the Confederates, and after a sharp fight was obliged to sur- 
render. The prisoners were paroled home and most of them re-enlisted. 
Hon. Harvey Hogg, member of the Legislature, became an officer of an- 
other cavalry regiment, being made lieutenant-colonel of the Second Illi- 
nois Cavalry. He was killed at Bolivar, Tenn., Aug. 30, 1862. About 170 
McLean County men joined the Third Illinois Cavalry, half of them in 
1861 and the others as recruits in later years. Company I, captained first 
by John Niccolls and later by S. F. Doloff, was more largely of McLean 
County men. The Third Cavalry, under Col. Eugene Carr, a West Point 
graduate, marched through Missouri and Arkansas and took part in the 
siege of Vicksburg. 

The Fourth Illinois Cavalry had 70 men from this county on its rolls. 
Col. William McCullough, who went into the war with only one arm and 
one eye, was commander of this regiment, being admitted on special 
order of President Lincoln. He served heroically and was killed in battle 
Dec. 5, 1862. Capt. John M. Longstreth of Leroy was commander of 
Company L of the Fourth Cavalry. The regiment was at Fort Donnelson, 
Shiloh, Vicksburg and other engagements. Company C of the Fifth Cav- 
alry was another contingent made up of McLean County men in large 
part, organized in the fall of 1861. It was captained in succession by 
William P. Withers, Francis A. Wheelock and C. W. Wheelock, the latter 
two from McLean. This company went out ninety strong and was joined 
by thirty recruits later. Many of the enlisted men came from other parts 
of the county, although they were mostly credited to Bloomington. All 

History of McLean County 157 

of the cavalrymen except those in the First, and most of the infantrymen 
after the Twenty-fifth, enlisted under President Lincoln's call for 300,000 
men on July 22, 1861. This call revived the wave of patriotism which 
had first swept the country in April, and hundreds rushed to enlist. The 
battle of Bull Run had sobered the country from its first wild outburst, 
but its determination was just as deep to uphold the President. Enlist- 
ment had been robbed of its novelty and romance after the first three 

It was the mid-summer of 1861 that saw the organization of the 
Thirty-third Illinois, the "Normal Regiment," and of the Thirty-ninth, 
the famous "Yates Phalanx." Capt. John H. Burnham, who entered Com- 
pany A of the Thirty-third, as a lieutenant, and was in 1862 promoted to 
the captaincy, in after years wrote a carefully prepared history of the 
regiment, from which some facts are gleaned. President Charles E. 
Hovey, of the Normal University, organized a military company among 
the students, hiring John W. White as drill master, who afterward be- 
came captain of Company K of the Eighth Missouri. The young company 
acquired uniforms and used sticks as guns, but constant drill gave them 
a respectable degree of proficiency in the manual of arms. They took 
the title "Normal Rifles." When Joseph G. Howell resigned from the 
principalship of the model school, Burnham took his place and 
taught eleven weeks, graduating in July. When the term ended, the 
company decided to enlist in the next call for troops. President Hovey 
later conceived the idea of a full regiment made up of Normal students 
and the teachers of the state. His suggestion met with instant response, 
and Hovey offered the regiment to Governor Yates, but the governor 
could not at once accept. Hovey started for Washington to offer the regi- 
ment to the government direct. He arrived the day before the battle of 
Bull Run, and hearing of the impending fight he went out in the direc- 
tion. He ran right into the retreating Union troops, grabbed an aban- 
doned rifle and acted as a soldier during the rest of the action. The next 
day after an audience with the Secretary of War, Hovey was given au- 
thority to organize a regiment in Illinois. Returning to Normal, he 
started quick action to complete the formation of the regiment of which 
he became colonel. The Normal Rifles became Company A of the new 
regiment, being mustered into service on August 21, with Leander H. 
Potter as captain. Company C was made up of a militia company that 

158 History of McLean County 

had been formed in Bloomington in May. E. R. Roe became a major and 
later a lieutenant-colonel. Colonel Hovey arose to the rank of brigadier- 
general in 1863, and was later brevetted major-general. E. J. Lewis, edi- 
tor of the Pantagraph, joined the regiment, was made a captain May 20, 
1863, and served through the Avar. Ira Moore of the Normal faculty was 
captain of Company G, which like C Company was made up largely of 
McLean County men. 

The Thirty-third regiment saw much fighting. It took part in the 
famous charge on Vicksburg on May 22, 1863, and lost 75 men killed and 
wounded. It was in the actions at Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Black 
River bridge, Fort Esperanza, in Texas, Spanish Fort, Alabama, and other 
places. A total of 240 men from McLean County joined this regiment 
in 1861 and forty more at later dates. 

Another famous McLean County regiment was the Thirty-ninth, the 
Yates Phalanx, so named in honor of Gov. Yates. Company B was or- 
ganized in Bloomington in August and September, 1861. It was cap- 
tained in succession by I. W. Wilmeth, David F. Sellers, George T. Heri- 
tage, John F. Alsup. Company F contained fifteen men under Capt. John 
McGrath; Company H, Capt. Chauncey Williams of Old Town, and later 
Capt. William Downs of Downs; Company I, Capt. Hiram M. Phillips, 
made up of Leroy men. There were men in these companies from Old 
Town, Downs, Leroy and Randolph. Company K, Capt. S. E. Meyers, 
formed with 25 men. In all, 200 men enlisted in the Thirty-ninth in 1861 
and 100 men the next two years. It was veteranized in 1864. 

From Camp Benton, Mo., its first rendezvous, the regiment was or- 
dered to Williamsport, Md., to be armed and equipped, then crossed the 
Potomac river to guard the B. & O. railroad. It was attacked Jan. 3, 1862, 
by 15,000 rebels under Stonewall Jackson, and for several days carried on 
intermittent fighting with the enemy. Finally it recrossed the Potomac 
and took up position on the Maryland side. In March it took a hand in 
the brilliant fight at Winchester, and went down the Shenandoah valley 
and was afterward at Harrison's landing and the second battle of Mal- 
vern Hill. The regiment in 1863 was in North and South Carolina in active 
service, and was the first to mount the walls of Fort Wagner at its cap- 
ture. At Newburn, N. C., Col. T. O. Osborn of this regiment was placed 
in command of the first brigade. Here a flag was presented to the regi- 
ment from Gov. Yates, and afterward was carried in all its engagements. 

History of McLean County 159 

The Thirty-ninth took part in Gen. Hunter's expedition against Charles- 
ton and assisted in the taking of Morris Island. 

In January, 1864, the regiment left for the north on veteran furlough, 
being given a great send-off. Arriving in Chicago in the middle of Jan- 
uary, it received a great ovation and recruited up from a strength of 450 
men to 750. It then returned to Washington and was sent to George- 
town, Va., as part of the First Brigade, First division, Tenth army corps. 
It was in Gen. Butler's famous expedition up the James river in May, 1864, 
and when at one time was completely surrounded by the enemy, cut its 
way out with a loss of nearly 200 men. On the 2nd of June another fight 
was carried on at the same place, when Lieut. Albert W. Fellows was 
killed and Capt. Al. C. Sweetser lost a leg. From June 16 to 18 the regi- 
ment fought day and night against Longstreet's corps, losing 35 men, in- 
cluding Capt. 0. F. Rudd. On Aug. 15 this regiment charged the enemy 
works at Deep Run, losing 104 men. In October another charge on Dar- 
lington Road, seven miles from Richmond, 60 men of the 250 in the regi- 
ment fell. The regiment had lost its officers until there remained only 
one first and one second lieutenant and one adjutant. During the winter 
it was recruited and took part in the desperate fight at Fort Gregg, April 
2, 1865. Its depleted forces scaled the ditch and the walls of the fort and 
captured the garrison after a deadly hand to hand conflict of a half hour. 
The regiment was presented with a magnificent brazen eagle for its color 1 
staff, and Col. Thomas O. Osborn was made brigadier general. From this 
time the Thirty-ninth headed the Army of the James in pursuit of Gen. 
Lee until the latter surrendered at Appomatox. 

In the early part of 1862, Co. K of the Twenty-sixth Illinois, 60 men, 
went out under Capt. Ira J. Bloomfield, who had resigned from the high 
school. Bloomfield later became brigadier general. The Twenty-sixth 
saw service in twenty-eight hard fought battles, ending at Bentonville, 
N. C, and taking part in the grand review at Washington. 

There were 87 men from McLean County in Company D, of the Sixty- 
third regiment, Capt. A. E. Cherrington. This regiment was in the Vicks- 
burg campaign, the march to the sea, and in numerous engagements. The 
regiment was mustered out in 1865. 

There were many McLean County men in the regiments enlisted for 
thirty days in 1862, among them being the 67th, 68th, 69th, 70th and 
71st. Col. Owen T. Reeves, after Judge Reeves, went out in charge of the 

160 History of McLean County 

70th regiment, a three months regiment. J. H. Scibird was major of this 
regiment. These short-term enlisted men were used mostly for guard 

Company H of the 62d was made up of McLean County men; Capt. 
Samuel Sherman; Lieuts. Foley and Wilson. Organized in April, 1862; 
veteranized in 1864 and mustered out in 1866. 

This county contributed Co. D of the 63rd, Capt. John W. Champion, 
mustered in at Camp Dubois in April, 1862; was at Vicksburg, Mission 
Ridge, northern Mississippi campaign, Atlanta to the sea, and in May, 
1865, was at Richmond. Mustered out in July, 1865, at Camp Butler. 

Company F of the 68th Illinois was from McLean County; captain, 
John W. Morris; lieutenant, John R. Larimore; and Company G, captain, 
James P. Moore ; lieutenants, Harvey C. DeMotte and John H. Stout. This 
was a three-months regiment. 

McLean County furnished part of Company E of the 82d, Capt. Robert 
Sender. This regiment was at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, at Gettys- 
burg, losing heavily of its men in the latter two battles. It was trans- 
ferred to the Army of the Cumberland and fought at Lookout Mountain; 
mustered out in 1865. 

The Ninety-fourth regiment was more than any other a McLean 
County regiment. Its muster was started in the summer of 1862 under 
the president's call for 600,000 men. It was a very popular movement, 
men rushing to sign the muster roll in all parts of the county; within a 
week, 1,200 men had been signed. The regiment was completed and two 
full companies were left over and joined other regiments, one company 
from Cheney's Grove joining the 116th as Company F, and one from 
McLean becoming Company A of the 117th. The military history of 
these two companies was mostly lost. The Ninety-fourth was mustered 
into the U. S. service in Bloomington and left on the 25th of August in 
box cars for St. Louis. By Sept. 10 it was on its way to Rolla, Mo. It 
received its baptism of fire Dec. 7 at Prairie Grove, Mo., where one man 
was killed and twenty-six wounded. It remained at Lake Spring, Mo., 
from January to June, and about this time Col. W. W. Orme was made 
brigadier general, and Capt. John McNulta and Capt. Laughlin advanced 
one grade; Capt. Briscoe was made major; Sergt. A. L. Hey wood made 
adjutant. The regiment arrived at Vicksburg June 13, and from that 
time to the surrender bore its part in the siege. It lost one man killed 

History of McLean County 161 

and five wounded. The regiment took part in many other engagements 
during its two years and fifty weeks in the service, but lost comparatively 
few men from wounds or disease. The make-up of this regiment was 
as follows: Co. A, Capt. A. S. Lawrence, Bloomington; Co. B, Capt. Tim- 
othy Freeman, Hey worth; Co. C, Capt. John Franklin, Lexington; Co. D, 
Capt. George W. Brown, Padua, Danvers, Bloomington and Towanda; Co. 
E, Capt. John L. Routt, Bloomington; Co. F, Capt. Aaron W. Walden, 
Padua, Bloomington, Danvers and Towanda; Co. G, Capt. Aaron Buckles, 
Leroy ; Co. H, Capt. Joseph P. Orme, known as the Irish company, Bloom- 
ington; Co. I, Capt. W. H. Mann, Normal, Money Creek, Twin Grove and 
Gridley; Co. K, Capt. James M. Burch, mustered from Danvers and other 

The first colonel of the Ninety-fourth was William W. Orme, who was 
made a brigadier general in 1862, and confirmed by the U. S. Senate April 
4, 1863. He was followed by Lieutenant Colonel John McNulta, who served 
as colonel to the end of the war. Part of the time Col. McNulta com- 
manded a brigade, and at the close of the war was made brigadier general. 

One of the two companies left over after the Ninety-fourth regiment 
was formed and captained by Lemuel N. Bishop of Cheney's Grove, from 
which section most of the men enlisted. This company became Co. F of 
the 116th, a Macon County regiment. This regiment first fought at 
Chickasaw Bayou in December, 1862, and on Jan. 11, 1863, took part in 
a great defeat of the rebels at Arkansas Post. Company B lost all but 25 
men at this battle, coming out under command of a fifth sergeant, after- 
ward Lieutenant and Captain C. Riebsame, who lived many years after 
the war in Bloomington. In camp along the river opposite Vicksburg in 
1863, the 116th lost one hundred men from disease, a record of fatality 
rarely equalled. Fourteen of the McLean County company died of dis- 

Mt. Hope and Funk's Grove get credit for the enlistments in Co. A 
of the 117th regiment, another overflow from the Ninety-foUrth. S. B. 
Kinsey was the first captain, followed by Charles S. Beath. The 117th 
regiment was at Vicksburg, also in the Red River expedition, at Nashville 
during the bitter cold weather of December, 1864, and in all engaged in 
six battles and thirty-three skirmishes. 

A reunion association of the Ninety-fourth regiment was formed 
many years after the war, and holds annual meetings in Bloomington on 


162 History of McLean County 

or about Aug. 25th, the anniversary of its muster. The number of mem- 
bers attending these reunions grew smaller as time passed. 

Recruits to the number of 2,000 men had enlisted in the army during 
the year 1862, and the quotas from McLean County were well filled. Con- 
sequently as the year 1863 came on, recruiting fell off in numbers and en- 
thusiasm, only a few men here and there offering themselves for service. 
People in general were anxiously awaiting the end of the war, which they 
thought would come soon. In the subsequent Illinois regiments number- 
ing from the 97th to the 115th, there were a few recruits in each from 
McLean County. A company of forty Germans under Capt. Robert Lender 
made up a company recruited into the Army of the Potomac, this being 
the second company made up here for service in German regiments. 

Forty McLean County men were members of Companies I, K, L, and 
M of the Sixteenth Illinois cavalry, the last cavalry regiment organized 
in the state. These men, recruited late in 1863, had some of the most 
trying experiences encountered by any McLean County men in the war. 
The regiment was captured in an early engagement, and the prisoners 
were cast into the notorious prison at Andersonville, where many of them 
died and from which many others finally were released physical wrecks. 

An incident of peculiar and sensational, though not of tragic moment, 
was the midnight alarm which aroused Bloomington on May 25, 1863, 
when it was announced that immediate recruits were wanted by hundreds 
to suppress an outbreak of rebel prisoners in Camp Butler in Springfield. 
Before morning a company of 475 men in all kinds of uniforms and carry- 
ing all kinds of arms, were on their way to Springfield. Their arrival was 
a surprise to the capital, for no one there had heard of an uprising of 
rebel prisoners, and affairs at Camp Butler were calm enough. The sud- 
denly recruited company contained most of the men of Bloomington, 
young, old, rich, poor, cripples and every other kind. 

There was a very great slacking up of recruiting in McLean County 
during the year 1863, as the people considered that they had done their 
share of sending men into the army. The county had offered a bounty 
of $50 for each man enlisted in 1862 for a period of three years. The in- 
fantry quotas were filled, there were but few enlistments for the artillery 
and considerably more for the cavalry. Men from McLean County were 
among those making up Companies I, K, L, and M of the Sixteenth Illi- 
nois cavalry. 

History of McLean County 163 

The general feeling in the north had undergone a change during the 
year 1863 from what it had been one or two years previous. A feeling of 
uncertainty as to the outcome of the war gave way in certain sections to 
one of actual opposition to its further prosecution. The people opposed 
to Lincoln's war policies became known as "Copperheads" and the opposi- 
tion to the war culminated in New York City in riots as a demonstration 
against the drafting of soldiers for the service. A secret society known 
as "Knights of the Golden Circle," came into being, with many branches 
in Illinois. It gave secret and sometimes open comfort to the enemy and 
rejoiced at victories by the rebel arms. 

In opposition to the Knights of the Golden Circle and other organiza- 
tions opposing the war, a counter movement of a secret nature became 
organized known as the Union League. This society had many adherents 
in McLean County. 

Late in 1863 a call for 300,000 more men was sent out by the govern- 
ment, and these recruits were to be used mainly to replace men killed, 
wounded or sick in the regiments already in the field, rather than to form- 
ing new regiments. The board of supervisors of McLean County, to stim- 
ulate enlistments, offered a bounty of $150 for each recruit, this offer 
superseding one of $50 in 1862. 

The year 1864 witnessed one phenomenon in the military situation 
which encouraged the north and correspondingly disheartened the south. 
This was the veteranizing of the regiments in the field by the re-enlist- 
ment of the men who had entered the service in 1861 for three years. 
More than 100,000 of these veteran soldiery were enrolled, those that ex- 
pressed a willingness to so re-enlist being granted a 30-days furlough 
before entering on their new term of service. The county board voted 
money to entertain these veterans on their return home for their furlough, 
and hundreds of them enjoyed this hospitality. The Thirty-third Illinois, 
the Normal regiment, was one of the regiments which returned home in- 
tact, having been veteranized as a whole and retaining its regimental for- 
mation. The Thirty-ninth also kept its organization practically intact, 
although its men did not get their furloughs all at one time. 

The number of McLean County men re-enlisted as veterans in the 
different regiments to which they belonged, ranged from 95 men in the 
Thirty-third to 89 in the Thirty-ninth, 30 in the Twenty-sixth, 18 in the* 
Twentieth, 27 in the Third cavalry, 28 in the Fifth cavalry, 18 in the Four- 

164 History of McLean County 

teenth infantry, 18 in the Twentieth infantry, down to 6 in the Second 
cavalry, 11 in the Twenty-third, 7 in the Sixty-second, and smaller num- 
bers in the Seventh, Eighth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Nineteenth, Fifty-first, 
Fifty-second, Fifty-fifth, Sixty-first, Sixty-sixth infantry and the Fourth 

Owing to serious defects in the forms of enlistments of the earlier 
years of the war, the quotas required of McLean County were very heavy 
in 1864, resulting in protest and threats of united action compelling the 
board of supervisors to offer large rewards, as was done in other counties, 
Lee County offering $1,000 bounty for each volunteer. The highest figure 
here, however, was $300, and there were sufficient enlistments under this 
bounty, together with the volunteers of the years 1861 to 1864, to com- 
pletely fill all the quotas required of McLean County, and 160 men in 
addition. This county acquired the reputation of having raised a larger 
super-quota than any other county in Illinois. The state raised 13 regi- 
ments of 100-day men between June and October, 1864, these troops be- 
ing used to guard rebel prisoners, railroads and supplies, the regiments 
being numbered from 132 to 145. Col. George W. Lackey took with him 
100 men from McLean County for the 145th infantry, they forming parts 
of Companies B, D, E, I and K. P. B. Keays was captain of Company I. 
Major I. W. Wilmeth and 70 volunteers joined the 146th regiment, en- 
listed for one year and kept in service after the close of the war. 

By the year 1864, the United States Sanitary Commission was in 
full running order, and great collections of supplies and moneys were 
made here for the use of the soldiers in the field. No statistics were kept 
as to the exact amount of such relief work performed in this county, but 
it was large. Money in 1864 was mostly in greenbacks or paper money, 
gold dollars having gone up to the price of as high as $2.85 in greenbacks. 
However, the latter was legal tender and circulated freely. The war boun- 
ties and other public expenditures were paid in paper money. The women 
and children of the county were the ones on whom fell the burden of 
this relief work. They gave fairs, bazaars and other kinds of entertain- 
ments and donated all the proceeds to soldier relief work. This kind of 
work was continued in behalf of the families of soldiers until and even 
after the soldiers returned from the army and until they became again 

History of McLean County 165 

The presidential election in the fall of 1864 took first place in interest 
even above the military operations of our armies. The Democrats nom- 
inated Gen. George B. McClellan to oppose Abraham Lincoln, and adopted 
a "peace plank" in their national platform, calling for immediate efforts 
to end the war. Lincoln, of course, was triumphantly elected, receiving a 
majority of 110 electoral votes, which constituted a majority over the 21 
votes given to McClellan and the 81 electoral votes which belonged to the 
seceded states. Lincoln carried McLean County by a good sized majority 
in spite of the absence of thousands of soldier votes, the figures in his 
favor being 1,419. 

With the end of the war near, according to all indications, a call came 
near the end of 1864 for 300,000 more volunteers. Early in the year 1865, 
McLean County mustered in two companies of one-year men for the 150th 
Illinois infantry. Among its officers were Lieut. Col. G. W. Keener of Old 
Town; Capt. J. H. Stout of Company A, and Capt. W. B. Lawrence of 
Company B. Then Capt. I. P. Strayer of Lexington and 35 men joined 
the 154th regiment, and 20 men enrolled for the 155th. The county's 
quota for the December call was 576 men, and when the enlistments were 
checked up it was found that the county had overenlisted by 160 men. It 
was estimated that the county sent all told into the service 3,500 men. 

Soon after the war, a movement for the building of a monument to 
those who had died in the service was started, and in 1869 a tall shaft 
was erected in Franklin park in Bloomington. This shaft contained the 
names of 700 men who had met death in the war. But its record was in- 
complete and even more than that number had died. 

After being subjected to the elements for many years, this monu- 
ment began to crumble. A movement for the building of a larger and 
better memorial to the soldiers of the county was begun about 1911, and 
in consequence the board of supervisors voted a fund of $50,000 for this 
purpose. After two years of diligent work, the names of every soldier 
who had served in the Civil and the Spanish wars was compiled by Capt. 
J. H. Burnham and J. Dwight Frink, who had been employed by the board 
to collect the names for the new monument. Mr. Frink was the designer 
of the shaft, a gigantic piece of Georgian granite which was erected at 
the entrance to Miller park in Bloomington. On bronze tablets within this 
monument are the names of the soldiers compiled by Messrs. Burnham 

166 History of McLean County 

and Frink, over 6,000 names being perpetuated each with his regiment 
and company and rank. This great monument was dedicated with impos- 
ing ceremonies on May 30, Decoration Day, in the year 1913. 

Spanish -American War. 

McLean County was again called to arms, along with other parts of 
this state and the nation, in April, 1898, when the United States govern- 
ment, under the leadership of President William McKinley, declared war 
against Spain as the result of her continued brutalities against Cuba, in 
which she had ignored the repeated warnings of our government. The 
misrule of Spain in Cuba was brought to a climax, so far as our interest 
in the matter was concerned, when the U. S. Battleship Maine was blown 
up in the harbor of Havana on the night of February 15, 1898. Feeling 
was so aroused in this country that on March 21 congress passed a reso- 
lution demanding that Spain withdraw and relinquish her authority over 
the island of Cuba, and authorizing the president to use the armed forces 
of the United States to enforce this demand. 

The Governor of Illinois was called upon for seven regiments as the 
state's quota. The state militia was first called into service and offered 
to the federal government. Bloomington had two companies in the state 
military service, Company D of the Fifth infantry and Troop B of the 
First Illinois cavalry. Soon after the call, Troop B was divided and re- 
cruited to the strength of two full troops, known as Troop B and Troop G. 
Capt. Edward Y. Miller was commander of the infantry company, Capt. 
W. P. Butler of Troop B, and Capt. Edward Butler of Troop G. 

There was also later a company of colored troops organized here, which 
became Company G of the Eighth Illinois regiment. It was commanded 
by Capt. Julius Witherspoon. 

The three units of the militia proceeded to the state fair grounds in 
Springfield, on April 27. Prior to its departure, Troop B was presented 
with a flag by the members of the D. A. R. The women friends and rela- 
tives of Troop G also gave them a flag, while the members of Company G 
were given a flag by the colored women of the city. At Springfield the 
troops were mustered into the federal service and on May 14 departed for 
camp at Chickamauga, Tenn. The cavalrymen remained in camp at Chick- 
amauga during the summer! The troops at that place suffered much from 
disease due partly to the kind of food they had. Several members of the 

History of McLean County 167 

two McLean County troops were among the sufferers. The cavalry regi- 
ments were finally sent to Fort Sheridan after the close of the war, and on 
Oct. 11. were mustered out. The flags which the two troops carried dur- 
ing their encampment became the property of the McLean County His- 
torical Society. 

The Fifth regiment, with its McLean County company, on Aug. 3, 
set out for Newport News to embark for Porto Rico. They boarded the 
transport Obdam, but before they sailed the word went out that no more 
troops were needed. The Fifth disembarked on Aug. 18 and went to Lex- 
ington, Ky., thence to Springfield to be mustered out Oct. 16th. 

The organization of the colored company in this county was in re- 
sponse to a call for a colored regiment for duty in Porto Rico, where the 
climate is unsuitable for white men. The regiment was mustered into 
the federal service and sailed from New York for Porto Rico on Aug. 18th. 
It landed at Santiago, where it did garrison duty until March 11, 1899, 
when it returned to the United States and was mustered out April 3, 




The first school teacher in McLean County was Delilah Mullin, after- 
ward Mrs. William Evans. The first school was held in the home of John 
Dawson at Blooming Grove. It was a subscription school. Miss Mullin 
herself drew up a paper and went around among the families living near 
Blooming Grove in 1825 and those who signed could send their children 
to her school at $2.50 each. The school began May 1, 1825. John Dawson 
gave the free use of his house for the purpose, it being a new log house 
which he had just built, and he continued to use his old one for a home. 
Four of the teacher's own brothers and sisters were among her pupils at 
the start. She had taught the school for a short time when she was 
married to William Evans, but the day following the wedding she went 
back and resumed her school. The school numbered about 17 scholars in 
all! Text books were scarce and an almanac served the purpose. William 
Evans, the husband of the pioneer teacher, afterward built the first cabin 
in the tract of land which became the original town of Bloomington. 
James Allin, the "father of Bloomington," afterward bought out the claim 
of the Evanses and they moved to the Mackinaw timber near Lexington. 
The Evans family later moved to Missouri, then to Texas, where Mr. 
Evans died. Mrs. Evans died in Texas in 1888. 

Dr. Tribue, a Frenchman, taught the second school in the winter of 
1825-26, and the next teacher was William Hodge. In these latter schools, 


170 History of McLean County 

reading, writing and arithmetic were taught. Home-made ink and goose 
quills for pens were used. 

The earliest report of public money being used for school purposes 
was in 1836-7, when Bloomington and Danvers townships were credited 
with payments for tuition to teachers. James Lincoln is on record as 
having taught a school in 1839 near Leroy, and Vickers Fell a school in 
Randolph in 1840. 

Mrs. Virginia Graves taught a school southwest of Bloomington in 
1845. The tuition was one dollar a scholar, and the trustees were Dr. 
Johnson, Isaac Mitchell and a Mr. Kitchel. Mrs. Graves said she got $10 
and ague for the first four months. In 1847, she taught at Selma, in this 
county. In the years following, the teacher was paid part of the salary 
from public funds, according to schedule of days taught and number of 
pupils attending. The free school act of 1855 authorized the raising of 
school funds by taxation. 

Along in the late '30s, Lemuel Foster built a school house of his own 
in Bloomington, to which students were admitted on payment of tuition. 
This building stood many years after Foster's death. He was succeeded 
by George W. Minier and he by Dr. Finley. In 1856 Rev. Robert Conover 
established a female seminary in Bloomington, which he successfully con- 
ducted for many years. Another attempt to maintain a private girls' 
school was made by Elder William T. Major, who erected a building in 
the north part of town, which became known as Major's College. It con- 
tinued until many other institutions arose and it could not keep pace. The 
property finally fell to the Wesleyan University and was sold for resi- 
dence purposes. 

Among the other teachers of private schools in Bloomington in the 
early days may be mentioned Amasa C. Washburn, Prof. Daniel Wilkin, 
Mrs. J. N. Ward, nee Martha Tompkins, Rev. E. S. McCaughey and Mrs. 

For two years following the passage of the free school law of 1855, 
several different public schools were maintained in Bloomington, and in 
1857 these were consolidated under the management of a board of educa- 
tion. This was the real starting of the public school system of the city. 
The first members of the board of education were C. P. Merriman, R. 0. 
Warriner, O. T. Reeves, E. R. Roe, Eliel Barber, Samuel Gallagher and 
Henry Richardson. The board submitted to the city council an estimate 

History of McLean County 171 

of $12,000 to build four school houses, which the council declined to levy, 
on the plea that it would be burdensome. The board employed Abraham 
Lincoln to bring action for mandamus to compel the council to make the 
levy, but a compromise was effected before the action was taken. The 
first permanent school structure was erected for $6,000 in what was 
known as the fourth ward, afterward the Emerson school district. This 
structure housed the first high school, started about 1858. The first class 
was graduated from the high school in 1864 and consisted of two pupils. 
A few years later the high school was moved to a building at Monroe and 
Oak streets, and then in 1895 to the then stupendous structure at Monroe 
and Prairie street. This remained the high school until 1916, when the 
last move was made to the half million dollar structure on East Washing- 
ton, between McLean and Evans. This was a period of steady growth 
for the city schools, the enrollment in the schools having reached 3,395 
by the year 1878. The school buildings at that time represented expendi- 
tures of $228,000. The superintendents during the first twenty years were 
D. Wilkins, Gilbert Thayer, Ira J. Bloomfield, C. P. Merriman, J. H. Burn- 
ham, John Monroe, John F. Gowdy, A. H. Thompson, S. M. Etter, S. D. 
Gaylord, and Miss Sarah E. Raymond. Miss Raymond, who served as 
superintendent of schools for twenty years, was one of the first women 
in Illinois to occupy such a position. 

In the less thickly populated parts of McLean County, outside of 
Bloomington, the schools had comparatively slower growth. The county 
superintendent in 1878 recorded a total of 361 pupils enrolled in the schools 
of the county outside of Bloomington. The census showed 761 children 
of school age outside Bloomington. The expenditures in the rural dis- 
tricts were $4,406 per year. There were nine school districts, which had 
buildings valued at $10,000. Some of the early teachers outside of Bloom- 
ington mentioned in the histories were Hosea Stout at Stout's Grove and 
A. C. Washburn of Buckles Grove, near Leroy. The rural schools of those 
days were "loud schools," that is, the pupils studied their lessons out loud, 
and oftener the louder the better. 

One of the earliest federal laws was that providing for the division 
of the public lands into townships and sections, and providing that section 
16 of every township should be held for the maintenance of public schools. 
This law set aside 985,066 acres in McLean County for school purposes. 
But owing to the pressing need of money in the early days, every town- 

172 History of McLean County 

ship in the county except West sold its school lands, the sums realized 
from such sales ranging from $798 in Cheney's Grove township to $12,620 
in Anchor township. The price per acre at which sales were made ranged 
from $1.30 in Danvers to $25 in Yates. 

The outbreak of the Civil war checked the progress of the schools, 
both in Bloomington and throughout the county. Many teachers resigned 
either to enter the army or to take up some work connected with war. 
After the war, renewed interest in school matters was apparent, and in 
1868, the building erected in the northeast part of Bloomington became 
known as No. 1. It was the direct predecessor of the present Franklin 
school. It would hold 600 pupils in its various rooms. In the same year 
a new and what was considered a very large and modern high school build- 
ing was erected at the corner of Monroe and Oak streets, costing $30,354. 
This structure continued to house the high school until 1895. Afterward 
it was torn down and the lot where it stood is vacant, although still owned 
by the board of education. 

One of the most remarkable personages connected with the public 
school system in its formative period was Miss Sarah E. Raymond, after- 
ward Mrs. F. J. Fitzwilliam. She entered the school system in 1868 in 
charge of "Old Barn" school. The next year she was made principal of 
the district. In 1873, B. P. Marsh, who had filled the principalship of the 
high school, resigned to enter the medical profession, and Miss Raymond 
was chosen to succeed him at a salary of $1,200 per year. The following 
year, on the resignation of Mr. Gaylord as superintendent of the city 
schools, Miss Raymond was chosen to the place. This was the first time 
a woman had been selected to a place of this importance. Although ham- 
pered by prejudice on account of her sex, Miss Raymond began a pro- 
gressive policy, and her superintendency marked a period of progress in 
all school work. The schools of Bloomington made a very creditable ex- 
hibition of their work at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 
1876. In 1880 the Bloomington high school was placed on the accredited 
list of the University of Illinois. Miss Raymond finally retired from the 
city superintendency in 1892, having served eighteen years. She was 
elected for the nineteenth time to the position in July, 1892, but she de- 
clined and announced her retirement from active school work. Later she 
was married to Capt. Fitzwilliam, lived in Chicago for many years, and 
died there. 

History of McLean County 173 

Up to December, 1895, the schools of Bloomington had been known 
by numbers, according to the wards in which they were located, as No. 1 
school, No. 2 school, and so on. In that month the board of education 
decided to name each school for some distinguished person. Accordingly, 
No. 1 was called Franklin, No. 2 Edwards, the Jefferson street school was 
called Jefferson, No. 3 was named Irving, No. 4 was called Emerson, the 
new building erected at Washington and State streets was named Wash- 
ington, and No. 5 school was named Sheridan. The No. 2 school was named 
in honor of a Bloomington citizen, Dr. Richard Edwards, who had been 
president of the Normal University and superintendent of schools for the 
state of Illinois. Later the school in Stevensonville was named Raymond 
in honor of Miss Raymond, and the Fifth ward school was named Haw- 
thorne. The name of Hawthorne school was changed in 1923 to that of 
the Horatio G. Bent school, in honor of Mr. Bent, who had spent many 
years in the service of the board of education. 

The high school building, at Prairie and Monroe streets was dedicated 
Jan. 1, 1897. Rev. W. S. Marquis, a graduate of the Bloomington high 
school, was the orator of the occasion. At this time appeared the first 
issue of the high school Aegus, which was projected as a monthly publica- 
tion, but later became the Year Book. 

E. M. Van Petten was elected superintendent of city schools in 1892 
to succeed Miss Raymond. He was educated at the Peoria County normal 
school and at the Illinois Wesleyan. He came from Joliet, where he had 
taught six years. One of the first improvements under his regime was the 
building of the new Lincoln school in the south part of the city. In May, 
1895, action was begun toward purchasing a site for a new high school, 
and the lots on the north side of Monroe between Prairie and Gridley were 
chosen. The building was completed in 1896 and dedicated on Jan. 1, 
1897. The present Franklin school building was erected in 1899 at a cost 
of $25,000. 

In September, 1899, Francis M. Funk, who had been a member of the 
board of education for 21 years, and president for six years, died, with 
a remarkable record of service. Horatio G. Bent, who had been elected 
on the board in 1893, was chosen to succeed Mr. Funk as president. The 
schools of Bloomington took a prominent part in the celebration of the 
fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of Bloomington, which took place 
on May 3, 1900. 

174 History of McLean County 

Mr. Van Petten resigned as superintendent of schools in 1901, and 
John K. Stableton was chosen to succeed him. Mr. Stableton was a grad- 
uate of Ohio Wesleyan, took a course in Harvard, taught in Nebraska, 
and was superintendent at Charleston, 111., when he was brought to Bloom- 
ington. He began a career as superintendent here in 1901, and served 
continuously until 1920. The term of Prof. Stableton saw many changes 
in the public schools. It witnessed the building of the present handsome 
high school on Washington, between Evans and McLean, and also sev- 
eral of the modern grade school buildings. It witnessed the enlargement 
of the high school faculty and the introduction of many new courses. It 
saw the employment of supervisors for many departments in the grade 
schools, such as music, domestic science, art, manual training. Printing 
as one of the branches of instruction was introduced and placed in charge 
of Miss Etta Walker, afterward Mrs. Charles Brokaw. Many other inno- 
vations and improvements came about during his superintendency. He 
left the city after his resignation in 1920, and now lives on a farm in Ohio. 

S. K. McDowell succeeded to the superintendency of the Bloomington 
schools, coming here from Aurora. He had taught in this county in his 
earlier years. Many additional changes and improvements have been in- 
troduced under his regime. 

The complete list of city superintendents from the first is as follows: 
Daniel Wilkins, Gilbert Thayer, Gen. Ira J. Bloomfield, C. P. Merriman, 
J. H. Burnham, John Monroe, John Goudy, A. H. Thompson, S. M. Etter, 
S. D. Gaylord, Sarah E. Raymond, Edwin M. VanPetten, John K. Stable- 
ton, S. K. McDowell. 

The following have been president of the board of education from the 
earliest times until now: C. P. Merriman, E. R. Roe, Eliel Barber, M. W. 
Packard, John A. Jackman, Jacob Jacoby, Dr. F. C. Vandervort, Francis 
M. Funk, Horatio G. Bent, Jesse E. Hoffman. 

The school affairs of the town of Normal date back beyond the incor- 
poration of the town itself, for the school district was first formed. The 
first school was opened in September, 1856, with Mary Shannon as teacher. 
Later W. O. Davis, afterward proprietor of the Pantagraph newspaper 
for many years, was employed as teacher. The movement was early start- 
ed to send the children of Normal citizens to the practice department of 
the Normal University. The first graduating class of the model school 
was in 1865. The model school and the public school were one and the 

History of McLean County 


176 History of McLean County 

same for many years. In the year 1868 the two were divorced and the 
public school occupied a building just erected at Ash and School streets. 
Henry McCormick was first principal. After a long period of separation, 
the two systems were united by vote in 1901. The high school of Normal 
had been placed upon the accredited list of the University of Illinois in 
1897. The old building which had been remodeled many times, was 
finally torn down and a modern structure erected in 1914. The following 
is the list of men who have served as principal of the schools from the 
first: Henry McCormick, 1868; Aaron Gove, 1869; Joseph Carter, 1874; 
A. C. Butler, 1878; A. M. Scott, 1880; J. V. McHugh, 1882; John W. Gib- 
son, 1883 ; David A. Reed, 1884 ; Mrs. J. A. Miller, 1885 ; John Glatf elter, 
1886; C. W. Harriman, 1887; Mrs. Hattie Hoffman, 1888; E. B. Smith, 
1891; E. A. Fritter, 1896 to 1907; Herbert Bassett, 1907-08; E. W. Davis, 
1908-13 ; C. F. Miller, 1913-22 ; L. W. Ragland, 1922-24. 

In Bloomington, in addition to the public school system is an exten- 
sive system of parochial or church schools, including the schools of Holy 
Trinity parish, the schools of St. Patrick's parish, those of St. Mary's 
German Catholic church, and the Lutheran or Trinity Lutheran school. 
St. Joseph's academy is also attached to Holy Trinity Catholic parish. 
The academy was erected in 1863 by Father Kennedy, who placed it in 
charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who continued in charge until 1876, 
when Father Kennedy invited the Dominican Sisters to take charge, and 
they are still in control. On the same block with the academy was erected 
in 1884 under the Very Rev. M. Weldon the St. Mary's high school build- 
ing, which cost $26,000. The primary and grammar grades and a high 
school course are taught here. In St. Joseph's academy the musical course 
is emphasized, and there is a large attendance of girls. Some ten years 
ago or more, the sisters purchased the whole block of ground to the west 
of Holy Trinity church between Locust and Chestnut streets. It had been 
the long-time homestead of J. W. Milner, one of the city's pioneers. The 
large house and grounds were converted to the use of the girls attending 
the academy and convent, and it was christened St. Joseph's Hall. 

St. Patrick's parish was created out of the west end of Holy Trinity 
parish in 1901, and soon after the parish was organized there was erected 
a school building adjoining the church, at 1205 West Locust street. This 
is ample for the work of the school. The sisters also erected a convent 
and home, and the total expenditures represented about $15,000. 




History of McLean County 177 

St. Mary's German Catholic parish was organized in 1867, and prop- 
erty in the southwest part of city was secured. A frame church was built 
and the school was opened in 1873 by Rev. W. J. Revis. Under the pas- 
torate of Rev. F. Schreiber in 1877, the Ursuline Sisters were induced to 
take charge of the school, and they remained until 1883. At the request 
of Bishop John L. Spalding the Franciscan Fathers of Cincinnati took 
charge of the parish, and Andrew Rothmann conducted the school from 
1883 to 1888, and after that the Franciscan Sisters took it over. In 1887 
a fine brick church was erected, and the old church used for a school until 
1902, when a big brick school house on Taylor street was built. The 
school is sustained by fees and the general funds of the church. 

Trinity Lutheran school was organized in 1858 soon after this con- 
gregation was formed. Rev. J. Ruff was first teacher and pastor. In 
1865 the church called its first teacher, J. Bockhaus, and later came John 
Brase and Mr. Maar. The school building on South Madison street was 
erected in 1893 at a cost of $10,000. The school has four teachers at 
present and teaches in both the English and the German language. 

The schools of the village of Heyworth had a crude beginning, for 
the first schoolhouse was a single room log cabin, with puncheon floor and 
hewed logs for benches. Thomas Dunham was the first teacher, and he 
was followed by Mary Elder, William Leeper, J. W. Burrows and others. 
The ancestors of some of the present well known families of Heyworth 
were pupils in this first school. The school next moved to a double log 
cabin which had been the home of Campbell Wakefield, and here a Mr. 
Conklin taught, followed by William Reeves. A large barn on the J. E. 
Wakefield place seemed to have been the next makeshift for a school- 
house, and Isaac Hougham taught here. A frame building erected by 
Jesse Funk near the edge of the timber was next used, after which the 
schoolhouse in use was a building on the Dr. Noble land. Several changes 
were made before the present district was incorporated n 1866. The new 
school attracted the attendance of young men just out of the army, and 
many of the boys of those days became men of prominence afterward. 
The promoters of the incorporated district were C. Wakefield, Dr. H. Noble, 
Samuel Hill, John Kelley, I, Vanordstrand, D. Laughlin, M. Millins and 
E. Philbrook. In 1898 a large brick building was erected, costing $14,000. 
The schools kept pace with the times, and now there is a good community 
high school. 


178 History of McLean County 

The Williams school at the head of the Mackinaw in the early days 
became the school for the town of Colfax. After the Illinois Central 
branch was built down from Kankakee, the village of Colfax was laid out 
and the Williams schoolhouse was moved into town. In 1883 the village 
voted bonds for a new schoolhouse and the old one went out of use. The 
district was reorganized in 1894 and a board of education was elected. Two 
rooms were added to the building in 1899, but on Oct. 18, 1900, the 
whole structure was burned down. Schools were held in the various 
churches until a new building was erected. This building answered the 
school purposes of Colfax for many years. It was considered one of the 
best buildings of its kind in the county when it was built. 

The first schoolhouse in Salt Creek precinct, now the territory of 
Empire township, was erected in 1832 on section 29 and was called the 
Dickerson schoolhouse: When the town of Leroy was laid out in 1836, 
the name of the precinct was changed, and the first schoolhouse was built 
south of town, known as Clearwater school. William Johnson was the 
first teacher at this school. In Leroy village James Lincoln taught the 
first school, but it continued only until cold weather set in, when it had 
to be closed. James Newell was another early teacher in Leroy. In the 
winter of 1838-9 another schoolhouse was built of more modern type. Dr. 
Henry Conkling was first teacher here. David P. Bunn was the second 
teacher, and he finally became a Universalist preacher. Among the other 
teachers in Leroy in the formative period of the schools may be mentioned 
Cheney Thomas, afterward sheriff; Charles Richason, John Waltemire, 
Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Miss Emeline Gibbs, Archibel Johnson, William 
Downton, Lewis Vandeventer and Prof. Swingle. In 1854 the Cumberland 
Presbyterians tried to establish a female seminary, but it died after a 
few years. Rev. Robert Patten was in charge. A large school building 
was erected in 1864 and answered many years. The community high 
school which was erected in 1922 is one of the finest in the county. The 
men who have been in charge of Leroy schools through the years up to 
recent dates included John Long, Miss Maltby, C. B. Conkling, Mr. Har- 
ris, W. A. Monroe, M. Huffman, Noah Wantling, D. C. Clark, J. W. Barley, 
John Z. X. Wilson, Mr. Shirk, C. A. V. Barley, M. Jess, W. H. Chamberlain, 
L. S. Kilborn, J. W. Tavenner, F. G. Blair, B. F. Templeton, B. C. Moore, 
C. J. Posey, S. K. McDowell. 

History of McLean County 179 

A. J. Flesher was the first teacher on record as having received pub- 
lic funds for teaching at Lexington. The first building was near the 
present site of the park at Lexington. Among the early teachers was 
Bird S. Coler, now comptroller of the city of New York. Among the other 
early teachers were Miss Bird, Miss Salie, John Barnard, A. J. Anderson, 
J. E. Wallace and Pauline Mahan. The first substantial schoolhouse was 
erected in 1865. Among the men who taught in this structure was John 
A. Sterling, afterward for many years member of congress. The first 
class graduated from the high school was in 1880. The names of teach- 
ers during these years included David Poor, J. W. Paisley, David Fulwiler, 
George Blount, L. S. Rowell, J. W. Adams, M. Jess, Prof. Beard, F. L. 
Horn, Ira M. Ong, J. W. Nicols, Jesse L. Smith, P. W. Dorsey, R. G. Smith. 
The present high school was erected in 1896 and cost $20,750. The build- 
ing is good for its uses. L. P. Scrogin and W. H. Claggett personally 
supervised the building. 

A building of logs furnished the first schoolhouse for Funk's Grove 
and vicinity. The simplest course of study was pursued in the winter 
months. The list of teachers in the early days included Reuben Baker, 
William Johnson, Andrew Biggs, Andrew McMillan, 0. W. Wiggins, Wil- 
liam Boltonhouse, Jonathan Dow, Catharine Caton, Patrick O'Brien, and 
a Mr. Fisher. The second schoolhouse was built about 1846-7 and this 
contained the modern improvements such as glass windows and stove for 
heating. Still other changes and improvements grew apace, and some 
few years ago the house known as the Ben F. Funk school was built, it 
being the model one-room school in the county for many years. It stands 
just across the road from the farm of Frank Funk, east of Funk's Grove. 

A distinct and well marked era of development of the schools of 
the county began about twenty years ago when the movement gained 
headway for the formation of what were known as community school 
districts* This consisted of the consolidation in some cases of parts of 
several districts into one larger district, thus providing a larger taxing 
unit and furnishing more ample funds for modern school building and 
equipment. Such a proposition developed opposition in many cases, and 
several long drawn law suits were carried on by taxpayers of certain loca- 
tions who objected to being included in the formation of a proposed dis- 
trict. The movement was fostered by a law passed by the Illinois legis- 


History of McLean County 

lature which had for its object this very purpose of school consolidation. 
The law itself was tested by suits carried to the Supreme Court and 
passed upon there. 

Benjamin C. Moore was county superintendent of schools during this 
era of reorganization and modernizing of the schools, and he gave it his 
assistance wherever it could be done with justice to all and without in- 
flicting unjust taxation in any particular instances. The term of Mr. 
Moore in the county superintendent's office, covering twelve years, was 
in many respects one of the most important era of McLean County school 



Mrs. Nettie Dement, the present county superintendent of schools, 
who took her office in 1923, is the first woman ever elected to the position. 

Improved and modern buildings provided in most of the schools of 
the county a gymnasium with its opportunity for indoor athletic exer- 
cises, or otherwise known as indoor sport. Hence within the past 15 years 
the growth of school athletics has been an outstanding feature of school 
life. Nearly every school of McLean County has a basket ball team, or 
several of them, and many of the larger schools have football teams. 

History of McLean County 181 

Basket ball tournaments for all the teams of the county are held every 
winter, and some of the smaller teams of the county have at times cap- 
tured championship honors. 




As early as 1849, public-spirited citizens of central Illinois began to 
agitate for the establishment of a college at Bloomington. The minutes 
of the Illinois conference of the Methodist church for 1849 show that a 
committee composed of Rev. Thomas A. McGhee and Rev. John S. Barger 
was named to confer with Bloomington citizens on the subject. The first 
meeting is believed to have been held Dec. 2, 1850, and another on the 11th 
of the same month. The constitution was adopted Dec. 18, 1850, and that 
date is forever afterward celebrated as "Founders' Day." The confer- 
ence minutes of 1850 show that a committee composed of Peter Cart- 
wright, John S. Barger, W. D. R. Trotter, J. C. Rucker and W. J. Newman 
were named to visit the Illinois Wesleyan at Bloomington, hence it must 
have been fully organized at that time. The Methodists had previously 
established the Female College at Jacksonville, Georgetown and Paris and 
Waynesville seminaries and had started seminaries at Danville, Marshall 
and Quincy. 

In July, 1851, Rev. William Goodfellow and Rev. Reuben Andrus were 
elected professors and Rev. Erastus Wentworth as president. Wentworth 
did not accept, but Andrus and Goodfellow conducted the school from 
September, 1851. In July, 1852, Rev. John Dempster was chosen presi- 
dent, and his name remained as president for two years, although he did 
not perform many of the duties of president, as he had taken a better posi- 
tion with Garrett Biblical Institute. • 


History of McLean County 183 

In the session of the Legislature in 1853, the Wesleyan received a 
special charter vesting the ownership in the Illinois Conference of the 
Methodist Church. Soon after the organizaton of the corporation, the 
question of a site for the buildings came up. James Allin deeded a ten- 
acre tract north of the Chicago & Alton Railroad in Bloomington, and 
much building material was unloaded there, when it was discovered that 
the site was totally unsuitable, and in June, 1854, the present site was 
chosen and the materials removed from the former site. The first struc- 
ture erected was the small two-story brick long used for the preparatory 
classes, and now used for some of the class rooms. Its use as the library 
was abandoned in 1923 on the completion of the Buck Memorial Library. 

In the first few years the school led a precarious existence. On the 
close of the fall term of 1854 work was suspended. In the same months 
Rev. Peter Akers was elected president, but declined. In 1855 Rev. C. W. 
Sears was for the second time offered the presidency, and under his man- 
agement the school reopened in October, 1855. Work was again sus- 
pended in 1856, owing to lack of funds and the debts which had accumu- 
lated. In 1857, Oliver S. Munsell was elected president, although the 
university was little more than a name. It had ten acres of land and the 
bare walls of a three-story brick building, with a debt of $5,000, which 
was increased by $10,000 when the building was completed. President 
Munsell and his brother, Rev. C. W. C. Munsell, raised funds to pay the 
debts and start the school again. Girls were admitted with equal rights 
with boys as students early in the history of the university, and co-edu- 
cation has ever since proved popular. 

By 1868, a new and larger building was needed, and $40,000 was 
raised for this purpose. The corner stone of the main building on the 
campus was laid in 1870, and it was dedicated in June, 1871, having cost 
$100,000. In addition to the erection of the building, President Munsell 
was instrumental in securing important natural history collections, in- 
cluding the R. H. Holder collection of ornithology, Prof. George Vasey's 
botannical collection, and Prof. C. D. Wilber's collection of fossils and 
minerals, etc. 

Dr. Munsell resigned as president in 1873 and Rev. Samuel Fallows 
was chosen to succeed him. He served two years and left a profound 
impression of his scholarship upon the history of the university. The 
law school was organized under his presidency. In 1875, Dr. W. H. H. 

184 History of McLean County 

Adams became president in succession to Bishop Fallows. He had served 
in the Civil War and was a man of great energy and ability. He increased 
the funds of the university, raising the endowment to over $72,000. For 
13 years he served with fidelity and unending effort for every cause of 
the school. He literally gave his life for Wesleyan. 

In 1888, Dr. W. H. Wilder, who had graduated in 1873, was elected 
president of Wesleyan, and served until 1897. An athletic field, named 
Wilder field in his honor, was acquired while he was president. About 
$15,000 was expended in improvements, including ground for janitor's 
house and gymnasium. The H. S. Swayne and Shellenbarger chemical 
laboratories were added to the science department. The Lichtenthaler 
collection of sea specimens, the G. B. Harrison collection of fossils, and 
the Weems archaelogical collections were added during this period. A. C. 
Behr gave the university a telescope, for which a suitable building was 

Dr. Edgar M. Smith served as president from 1897 to 1905, during 
which time a period of steady growth was maintained, although no out- 
standing additions were made. In 1905, Dr. Frank G. Barnes was chosen 
president and came to the school with a young man's enthusiasm. Dur- 
ing his term, Andrew Carnegie gave $30,000 for a Science Hail, provided 
$60,000 were raised as an endowment, which was successfully accom- 

However, the required $60,000 was not wholly secured when Presi- 
dent Barnes resigned and Dr. Theodore Kemp was chosen to succeed him. 
This was in 1908. Dr. Kemp at once raised the balance of $18,000 to 
close the Carnegie contract and secure the Science Hall. The building of 
this structure was the first new building which had been done on the 
campus in a period of forty-two years. 

Like all the other schools of the country, the Wesleyan University 
lost many of the young men from its classes during the spring and fall 
of 1917, for they answered the call to the colors and served in many 
branches of the army and navy. Several gold stars were added to Wes- 
leyan's service flag before the war was over, and a memorial service after 
the close of the war took note of the following Wesleyan men who had 
died for liberty: George Herman Anna, Lyle Best, Howard Bolin, Elmer 
T. Doocey, Vergne Greiner, Allington Jolly, Sergt. Lemuel Jones, Frank 




History of McLean County 


186 History of McLean County 

Jordan, Henry R. Peckmann, Herbert Quarnstrom, William Ralston, Mau- 
rice Roberts, Edmund W. Sutherland. 

In the opening of the fall term in 1918, Wesleyan, like many other 
colleges, became in fact a military academy by the formation there of the 
Student Army Training Corps, sponsored and managed by the war depart- 
ment of the government. All academic work was planned on military 
lines, and drills were carried on certain hours each day under Captain 
Wheaton, a regular army officer assigned to this camp. Barracks were 
erected on the vacant ground north of the campus, at a cost of $25,000, 
this fund being guaranteed by Bloomington business men, who were later 
reimbursed by the government. But the war ended all plans on this line, 
and in fact the armistice came before the S. A. T. C. had a chance to show 
its true worth as a military asset of the country. 

Dr. Kemp continued in the office of president for 14 years, resigned 
May, 1922. In that period was covered a period of renewed growth for 
the school, which for some years previously had been caught in a season 
of depression and stagnation. There was a debt of $57,000 against the 
school, owing to many years' annual deficits. The endowment fund aggre- 
gated only $131,783, which with other resources of $185,500 made the 
total property of the school amount to only $327,283. During the incum- 
bency of President Kemp the endowment fund was increased to $869,366 ; 
other general assets were raised to $232,807 ; and the buildings and 
grounds were appraised at $364,600; making total resources of the Uni- 
versity $1,466,774. 

The greatest campaign for funds ever undertaken in the history of 
the Wesleyan was that of June, 1921, when in a strenuous drive of one 
month's duration a total of $692,000 was pledged by citizens of Bloom- 
ington and McLean County. This made the grand total of resources at 
the close of Dr. Kemp's term, $2,158,774. Debts aggregating $110,000 
were paid off during the same period. There were also bequests written 
into wills but not yet realized during this term of years. The total assets 
of the university at the close of President Kemp's incumbency indicated 
that five times as much money had been subscribed or written into wills 
in the fourteen years as had been previously obtained in the fifty-eight 
years of the university's history. E. M. Evans, as chairman of the Asso- 
ciation of Commerce Committee on Wesleyan Affairs had charge of this 
campaign and put in many strenuous days in planning for it. He had the 

History of McLean County 187 

assistance and co-operation of hundreds of citizens who gave up their 
own business to a large extent during the campaign. 

Dr. Kemp was personally instrumental in securing the girls' dormi- 
tory and adding it to the property of the Wesleyan. This was the magnifi- 
cent three-story brick residence built by A. E. DeMange on Main Street, 
two blocks from the campus. It was bought on President Kemp's per- 
sonal responsibility for $30,000 and it was several years later that the 
funds were forthcoming for making good the personal risk which Dr. 
Kemp had incurred for the building. The attendance at the Wesleyan 
increased in corresponding ratio with its material growth. The enroll- 
ment in the liberal arts college grew from 174 to 352. The law school 
also had a healthy growth. 

The board of trustees in July, 1922, selected Rev. Dr. William J. 
Davidson as president of the Wesleyan. At the time of his selection, he 
was executive secretary of the life service commission of the Methodist 
Church, with headquarters in Chicago. He holds the degree of LL. D. 
from Nebraska Wesleyan, the degree of S. T. B. and D.D. from Garrett 
Biblical Institute, and had performed undergraduate work at Boston Col- 
lege, Cornell and Harvard. For 28 years he was member of the Illinois 
Conference and two years was chancellor of Nebraska Wesleyan. After 
six years of pastorate of First M. E. Church in Decatur, he returned to 
Garrett Biblical Institute as professor of religious education. Dr. David- 
son was formally installed as president of Illinois Wesleyan on Dec. 13, 
1922. President Harker, of Illinois Woman's College, made an address, 
as did President David Felmley, of Normal University. E. M. Evans, 
chairman of the Wesleyan Board, presented Dr. Davidson, who responded 
in an address. The exercises were held in the new memorial gymnasium 
of the Wesleyan. 

The Wesleyan under Dr. Davidson has had a wonderful growth, and 
the enrollment of students and personnel of the faculty is more notable 
than at any other previous period. 

According to the latest statistics during the current year is a new 
total enrollment of 1,162 students. These students are divided among the 
three colleges as follows: 

College of Liberal Arts: Seniors, 65; juniors, 74; sophomores, 140; 
freshmen, 249 ; unclassified, 46 ; total, 574. 

188 History of McLean County 

College of Law: Third year, 36; second year, 34; first year, 63; 
total, 133. 

College of Music: Music, expression and art, 535. 

Grand totals of all colleges, 1,242 ; duplication, 80 ; net total, 1,162. 




McLean County is the seat of the pioneer normal school of Illinois 
and of the middle west. The idea of a state normal school began to take 
root in Illinois about 1856, especially among the teachers of the state, who 
had by that time begun to hold conventions. The formation of the State 
Teachers' Association marked an era. A free school law had been passed, 
but it met with opposition. At the call of three men, H. L. Lee of Chicago, 
J. A. Hawley of Dixon, and Daniel Wilkins of Bloomington, a meeting of 
the friends of free schools was called to be held in Bloomington, Dec. 26 
to 29, 1853. At this convention the proposals most discussed were to 
make the schools a separate department of state administration ; to estab- 
lish a normal training school for teachers, and to publish a journal in the 
cause of free schools in Illinois. Rev. W. Goodfellow of the Wesleyan 
Universty faculty was the first president of the Illinois Teachers' Asso- 
ciation, and Daniel Wilkins of Bloomington the first secretary. 

At the second annual meeting of the Teachers' Association in Peoria, 
and at the third meeting, in Springfield, the establishment of a normal 
school was the principal topic. J. B. Turner of Jacksonville headed a 
powerful faction advocating an Industrial University with a normal school 
attached. The discussion was bitter, and at the Chicago meeting in 1856, 
Professor Turner withdrew his contention in order to center interest on 
founding a normal school, with or without an agricultural school con- 


190 History of McLean County 

nected with it. The Association of that year passed a resolution request- 
ing the legislature of the coming winter to appropriate money to estab- 
lish a normal school to meet the educational needs of the state. On 
Feb. 18, of the following year, 1857, the legislature passed and the gov- 
ernor signed "An Act for the Establishment and Maintenance of a Nor- 
mal University." The date of the signing of this bill has been celebrated 
at each recurring anniversary as "Founders' Day" of the Normal Uni- 

The location of the school was the next big question. In 1857, the 
town of Normal had no existence. The Junction, otherwise known as 
North Bloomington, had been platted and a few houses built; most of the 
township was occupied by farms. The Illinois Central and Chicago & 
Alton roads crossed at the Junction. Jesse W. Fell, who had most to do 
with founding of North Bloomington, had built his home there in 1855, 
and in partnership with R. R. Landon, L. R. Case, C. W. Holder and L. C. 
Blakesly, had laid out an important addition. Hundreds of trees had been 
planted, and the founders had dreams of establishing some kind of an 
educational institution. When Illinois decided to start a Normal school, 
these energetic men saw their chance. All the deeds for property in the 
new town of North Bloomington, provided that no liquor should be sold 
on such property, and this provision was incorporated in the town charter 
when Normal was incorporated in April, 1858. This gave Normal from 
the start a desirable class of citizens. 

The law creating a normal school, also created a board of education 
to carry the law into effect. This board was empowered to receive bids 
for its location. Keen competition arose for the location of the new nor- 
mal school. Jesse Fell and his co-workers determined to make a splen- 
did offer to secure the school for "North Bloomington." They secured 
private pledges of money totaling $50,000. They secured a pledge from 
the county commissioners to donate another $50,000 from the proceeds 
of the sale of swamp lands which the government had given to the 
county for educational purposes. This made a total of $100,000. But 
after secret emissaries to Peoria had reported an alarmingly liberal offer 
to be made by that city, the local boosters increased their own subscrip- 
tions by $20,000, and secured an equal increase from the county commis- 
sioners, -making a total of $141,725. The McLean County pledge included 
160 acres of land at the Junction valued at $38,000. Several other tracts 

History of McLean County 191 

of land in the vicinity were also offered, but the Junction site was the 

The state board met at Peoria on May 7, 1857, to choose a site. The 
Bloomington offer had been kept secret. Batavia's offer was first opened, 
it including the Batavia Institute buildings, $15,000 in money, making a 
total of $45,000. The citizens of Washington, in Tazewell County, and 
the trustees of Washington Academy offered the land and buildings of the 
Academy and $12,000 in cash, the total being valued at $21,000. Peoria 
offered money pledges from individuals, the city and county amounting 
to $50,032; also several sites of land of various dimensions and locations. 
The estimates on the land offerings made Peoria's best offer total at 

The bid of McLean County was so far ahead of Peoria's, the second 
best, that the board at once located the Normal University on the 160 
acres of rolling land within three-quarters of a mile of the junction of 
the Alton and the Illinois Central Railroads. The Board of Education re- 
quired that within sixty days the subscription of $70,000 made by the 
McLean County Commissioners should be legally guaranteed. Abraham 
Lincoln was employed to draw up a form of guarantee, and this was 
signed by eighty-five of the best citizens of Bloomington, each binding 
himself in a sum between $500 and $5,000. The list of these guarantors 
. were published in the little book written by John W. Cook some years 
ago on the history of the Normal University. The new county board of 
supervisors, elected in 1858, promptly confirmed the pledge of the county 
commissioners, and the land was finally sold and the proceeds used for the 
purpose named, hence the guarantee bond was never enforced. 

The list of cash pledges was divided into three groups, but all of 
these were collectible under the terms of the location. The first group 
was made with the condition that the site should be within one mile of 
the corporate limits of Bloomington. The second was conditioned on the 
location being within three-quarters of a mile from the Junction; the 
third that it should be within three miles of Bloomington. Joseph Payne 
and Meshack Pike donated the land on which the institution was actually 
located, consisting of 60 acres and enough more on the west to make their 
gift valued at $22,000. E. W. Bakewell and Judge David Davis gave 
40 acres on the west, mostly west of Main Street, which was to form the 
location of the agricultural department. 

192 History of McLean County 

The next step was the construction of the building, the first of the 
present group. George P. Randall of Chicago was employed as architect, 
and when bids were called for there were fifteen bidders, ranging from 
$80,000 to $115,000. The contract was let to Mortimer & Loburg and 
T. H. Soper of Chicago for $83,000, the work to be completed by Septem- 
ber, 1858. The corner stone was laid Sept. 29, 1857, with impressive 

But unexpected difficulties arose in connection with the construction. 
The general money panic of 1857 was a hard blow to the people who had 
pledged cash donations. Work was started by the contractor in the sum- 
mer of 1857, but when the first installment of his pay was due, in Decem- 
ber, there was no money to pay. Many of the subscribers were unable to 
meet their pledges, and others refused to pay. It was even proposed that 
the location of the school be changed at that time, since McLean County 
people seemed unable to make good their pledge. The Normal School had 
been opened at old Major's hall in Bloomington, in the third story of the 
building at the corner of Front and East Streets, in October, 1857, with 
19 pupils and three teachers; Charles E. Hovey as principal, Ira Moore 
and Mary Brooks as the other instructors. For 18 months no work was 
done on the new building in North Bloomington. Finally the board of 
education appointed Mr. Hovey to save the situation and gave him power 
to act. He first tried to negotiate sale of the county swamp lands, since • 
the county had promised to pay only out of the "proceeds" of the lands 
and they must first be sold. C. M. Cady, a young man, was dispatched to 
New York with a list of the lands and told to sell them. But no sale 
could be made without at least bonds for deeds. Therefore Hovey him- 
self bought the lands on his own responsibility to the extent of 7,000 or 
8,000 acres, at a price of $25,000 to $30,000. The New York deal fell 
through but rumor of a great sale of swamp lands got abroad, and state 
officials and others began to invest in other tracts. In this way some 
money began to come in, enough to pay off the debt to the contractors 
and get work again started. Solicitation among the business men of 
Bloomington for materials and credit for materials enabled the carpen- 
ters and masons to proceed, and by January, 1861, the building was well 
along toward completion, but with a debt of $65,000 against it. Hovey 
went to the Legislature then in session, secured an appropriation to take 
up the debts, and during the spring and summer of 1861 the building was 



T;5 / 7"°"xsft v 

History of McLean County 193 

fully completed. There was still a debt of $30,000 over the structure 
when it was finished. The total cost was something over $200,000. 

The dedication took place in January, 1861, when Gov. Richard Yates 
and Richard Oglesby made the principal addresses. The first year of 
school at the new location was engrossed with interests and feelings of 
the Civil War, which was then in its beginning. Principal Joseph G. 
Howell responded to Lincoln's first call for troops, President Charles E. 
Hovey and most of his men teachers and students went into the army. 
Perkins Bass, member of the Board of Education, took charge of the 
institution 1861-2. In the latter year the normal school secured the serv- 
ices of Richard Edwards for president, who came from St. Louis, and 
Thomas Metcalf, another St. Louis teacher, joined the faculty the same 
year. Albert Stetson, a Harvard graduate, and Edwin C. Hewett, who 
afterwards became president, were secured about the same time. The 
attendance grew during the administration of President Edwards, and 
more liberal appropriations from the Legislature enabled the school to 
carry on its work with less stringency. In 1867 the Legislature specifi- 
cally declared the Normal University to be a state institution. 

Jesse W. Fell started the improvement of the campus by setting out 
many trees, a fund of $2,500 having been set aside for this purpose. A 
definite plan was adopted, and the beauty of the present day campus is 
the result of those early plans. The Museum of Natural History was 
founded in this period, and it has become one of the most useful and inter- 
esting in the state or the middle west. By the year 1876 the value of 
this natural history collection was declared to be $100,000. In the year 
1885 the surplus specimens were removed to the state house at Spring- 
field and to the University of Illinois at Urbana. 

The changes and expansion of the school made it the best equipped 
and most largely attended normal school in the United States by the year 
1865. It had some enemies in the earlier years, charges being made that 
its patronage was mainly local and that its graduates were not teaching. 
Investigations proved these statements not borne out by the facts. A 
high school was established in 1862 under Charles F. Childs. A grammar 
and intermediate department were formed and these were later quartered 
in the Normal Public School buildings. John W. Cook was first principal 
of these departments. Joseph Carter succeeded him, and the grammar 
school had by this time become thoroughly organized and well graded. 

194 History of McLean County 

In 1874 Thomas Metcalf was placed in charge of the teachers' training 
department, and had general oversight of the student teachers. 

President Edwards resigned on Jan. 1, 1876, and was succeeded by 
Edwin C. Hewett, who held the position until June, 1890. The adminis- 
tration of President Hewett was one of steady growth and development. 
His term of 14 years was the longest in the history of the school up to 
that time. The revenues of the normal had grown to 836,200 per year, 
and considerable improvement in the physical property was made. In 
this period of the school history arose the celebrated Bakewell claim, by 
which Edwin W. Bakewell sought to secure restitution to himself of 40 
acres of ground which he had donated for the original location of the 
school. After years of negotiation and legal action, the Supreme Court 
decided against his claim. Along in the '80's a faculty club for the study 
of pedagogical problems was established, and it continues until this day. 

Numerous changes in the faculty occurred during President Hewett's 
term, some of the most noted teachers of the school having come to the 
teaching force during these years. 

John Williston Cook, who had graduated in the class of 1865, was 
made president to succeed Dr. Hewett, assuming his duties in 1890. He 
had been connected with the faculty several years and was known for his 
versatility and energy. He soon secured the building for a training school, 
located just north of the main structure. In 1899 was completed the fine 
building of Gothic design which was to' be used for library, gymnasium 
and other uses. It cost $61,000 and is a striking feature of the campus. 

Under the energetic management of President Cook, the high school 
department grew to be a considerable factor in the institution, and so 
great was its increase in membership that the buildings became crowded. 
Governor Altgeld's attention being called to the conditions, he advised the 
board to abolish the high school, which was done in 1895. 

The personnel of the faculty had increased from 18 to 21 members 
during President Cook's regime. The teaching force included many young 
and energetic members, and the whole policy of the school was an aggres- 
sive one. The income of the school had grown to 841,740. When the 
state of Illinois established a new normal school at DeKalb, President 
Cook was called to become its head, and began his. work there in 1899. 
He took some of the teachers in Normal with him to his new school 
at DeKalb. 

History of McLean County 195 

Dr. Arnold Tompkins was elected president of the Normal University 
to succeed Mr. Cook. Dr. Tompkins had been professor of education at 
the University of Illinois. He at once inaugurated many changes in 
the course of study, length of recitation hours and other internal regu- 
lations. His regime lasted only one year, when he was called to the head 
of the Chicago Normal school, and shortly afterward died. 

David Felmley, who had come to the normal school under Presi- 
dent Cook as teacher of mathematics, was chosen to be the new head. 
He was a graduate of the University of Michigan, and had taught suc- 
cessfully at Carrollton, where he was later superintendent of schools. 
He came to the Normal University in the same year that John W. Cook 
became president. President Felmley's twenty-three years of service 
as head of the Normal surpasses the record of any other president in 
length of time, and probably has few parallels in a similar position 
among the colleges and universities of the country. 

President Felmley started out to continue the development of the 
University along the liberal lines propounded by Dr. Tompkins. The 
increased appropriations from the legislature made possible establish- 
ment of new courses and the expansion of the old. Regular courses in 
music were established and Prof. Westhoff placed in charge of them. 
The kindergarten, nominally established in 1898, became a reality in 

1902. A manual training and mechanical drawing course was begun in 

1903. Physical culture courses were established. 

Particularly the work of the school in agricultural instruction was 
enlarged. Two terms of elementary science for first year students began 
in 1900. A school garden of two and one half acres was planted an- 
nually. Bruno Nehrling planned and equipped a greenhouse, and this 
is a valuable part of the school's equipment. Particular and scientific 
attention was given to the campus, which had been more or less neglected 
since the original planting of trees by Jesse Fell. Many new trees were 
added and the other ones trimmed and taken care of. An acquatic 
garden was made from the "old pond" on the campus. 

In the early years of the normal school, various and irregular at- 
tempts were made to conduct a term of instruction in the summer time 
for the special benefit of students who were actual teachers. The modern 
summer school as it is known today is the direct result of a paper read 
before the faculty in 1897 by Prof. Felmley, then teacher of mathe- 

196 History of McLean County 

matics, in which he proposed two summer terms of six weeks each. The 
board of education took action in 1899 and the first of such summer 
terms was held in 1900. In 1903 the legislature gave an additional ap- 
propriation for the use of the summer school, and since that time biennial 
appropriations have maintained the school. 

The attendance at the Normal university in its regular term time 
has had a remarkable growth with the passing of the years. The first 
year, 1857, recorded an enrollment of 53 men and 74 women, and the 
totals for the next few years ran along this way: 122, 161, 152, 205, 
304 and 282. After the close of the Civil war the enrollment mounted 
above the 400 mark, and wavered between 400 and 500 for several years, 
again falling below the 400 mark in 1879. Then it mounted steadily 
until it passed the 600 mark in 1889. By the year of the fortieth anni- 
versary of the university, 1907, the attendance had risen to 826. The 
total slumped off some during the first years of the twentieth century, 
falling to 386 in 1904, and reaching 569 in the year of the golden jubilee, 

The land of the Normal university includes a campus of 56 acres 
and a farm of 96 acres, all donated to the board of education in 1857. 
There are eight buildings on the campus, as follows : 

The main building erected in 1857-60, 100 by 158 feet, three stories 
and basement, with floor space of 52,800 feet, devoted to class rooms and 
offices. It is the oldest normal school in the United States. 

The Thomas Metcalf Building, erected in 1913, with floor space 
of 43,600 square feet, housing the training school, consisting of 70 pupils 
in the kindergarten and 360 in the elementary school and 280 in the 
high school. 

The Manual Arts building, erected in 1907, contains shops, studios 
and laboratories for classes in manual training, home economics, the fine 
arts, physics and chemistry. The modern university auditorium is in 
this building. 

The gymnasium building, erected in 1896, with 18,800 square feel; 
of floor space, houses the gymnasium with its offices, locker rooms and 
baths, and the departments of biology and commerce. 

The library building, the former model school building, was erected 
for training school in 1892. Since 1914 it has been used for the library 
and geography department. 

History of McLean County 197 

The plant house, erected in 1905, has 2,200 square feet of floor space 
under glass, and a work room. It is used to propagate plants for the 
campus, school garden and school rooms, and as a botany laboratory. 

The heating plant, erected in 1914, 70 by 80 feet, contains two 
Springfield water tube boilers, with modern stoker equipment. Space 
is provided for electric generators. 

Fell Hall, erected in 1918, is a dormitory for women, providing 83 
rooms for 83 young women and accommodates 150 students in the dining 

On the university farm are a commodious farm house, cow barn 
with silos, horse barn, dairy barn, poultry house, hog house, and build- 
ing for farm machinery. 

The university faculty consists of 80 teachers, six in the University 
high school, 11 in the elementary training school, nine in the training 
school at the Soldiers' Orphans' Home, and 54 in the regular instruc- 
tional staff of the Teachers' college. There are also 25 other employes 
in various capacities. 

The Normal University includes four schools: 

The normal school, to prepare teachers for rural, village, or graded 
elementary schools, also special teachers of music, etc. 

The Teachers' College to prepare high school principals, supervisors 
and superintendents. 

The elementary training school, organized as a model school for 
observation and practice teaching by the normal school students. 

The University high school to provide high school courses of five 
separate curriculums, in which agriculture, manual training, home eco- 
nomics, commercial branches or the languages shall predominate. This 
school takes care of eighth grade pupils from any county who secure 
Lindly scholarships in a normal school. 

The normal school has graduated 3,156 students, of whom 139 grad- 
uated from the Teachers' college. The average length of time these 
graduates teach after they leave school is nine years. The Normal Uni- 
versity is in session 48 weeks of the year, with fall, winter and spring 
terms of twelve weeks each, and two summer terms of six weeks each. 

The following table of attendance in the college department for the 
past twenty years: 

198 History of McLean County 

1903 862 1913___ 2,391 

1904 1,230 1914 ^_2,255 

1905 1,314 1915 3,400 

1906_. 1,408 1916___. 4,080 

1907 1,581 1917 3,000 

1908 1,711 1918 2,654 

1909 2,008 1919 2,825 

1910 2,003 1920 3,003 

1911 2,160 1921 3,539 

1912 2,485 1922 3,749 

In spite of the World war, the Normal University gained 56 per cent 
in attendance since 1913. The attendance in the fall of 1923 was 200 
larger than in 1922, and 430 larger than in 1921. 

The cost of maintenance and operation for the past year was $252,306, 
an average of $180.73 for each college student for a term of 36 weeks. 

Two principal literary societies have existed in the Normal Univer- 
sity from the beginning. The first was originally called the Normal De- 
bating society, afterward changed to the Phildelphian society. The other 
was a rival, first called the "D and E society," the letters referring to the 
sections composing its membership. This was afterward named the 
Wrightonian society, in honor of Simeon Wright, member of the board. 
The Edwards Debating society and the Ciceronian society were two organ- 
izations for male students formed in the '70s. The Sapphonian society 
was a girls' debating society organized in 1888. In 1903 there was formed 
the Girls' Debating society. There are two christian associations within 
the student body, the Y. M. and the Y. W. C. A. An oratorical association 
was organized in 1887, and the school is a member of the Interstate Ora- 
torical League. The students have intermittently maintained athletic as- 
sociations for many years. 

Since music became an established part of the training, there have 
been glee clubs, an orchestra and university band. Among the other or- 
ganizations in the university are: the Dramatic club, Latin and French 
clubs, Science club, the Natural History club, the Country Life club, Kin- 
dergarten club, the 'Varsity club, the Lowell Mason club, Hopkins Agricul- 
tural club, and the Students' Council. 

Normal University gave its best to the cause of America during the 
World war, as it had done in the Civil war. A boulder in front of Fell Hall 

History of McLean County 199 

is a memorial to the 14 university men who lost ther lives in the war. 
It was dedicated in May, 1920. There were nearly 700 university men in 
the military or naval service of the United States during the war, of whom 
460 were in the army, 85 in the navy, 25 in the marine corps, 75 in avia- 
tion, 14 women nurses, one Red Cross relief worker, and 32 others in va- 
rious lines of service. 




This history has dealt in the main with material things, the progress 
of the county in agriculture, industry, home building, city-making, and road 
constructon. However, unless something be said, even if inadequately 
and all too briefly, of the spiritual struggles of the people and their prog- 
ress along moral and religious lines, the history will not meet the full re- 
quirements of the times. For McLean County people as a whole have 
been always and are still a religious and spiritual people. In all sections 
of the county, in every city and village, church spires point the worshiper 
to a higher life, and weekly meetings summon him to remember his 

Rev. Jesse Walker, the first Protestant minister in Illinois, made his 
headquarters at Kaskaskia, the early capital of Illinois, even before the 
territory became a state. It seems that while his scene of activities was 
mainly in southern Illinois, he learned after 1822 that there was a family 
of Methodists at Blooming Grove, and as this was his own denomination 
he set out to visit the families in this region. Therefore he has credit of 
having held the first religious services inside of. the boundaries of McLean 
County. Other Methodist ministers took up the work of Rev. Walker, 


History of McLean County 201 

for we learn that Rev. Peter Cartwright, a famous evangelist of that day, 
made frequent visits to central Illinois, although he lived in Sangamon 
County. He was the first presiding elder of this district, if we can speak 
of it as such. 

The Baptists seem to have been the second denomination on the scene 
here. Rev. E. Rhodes, a Free Will Baptist preacher, made his home at 
Blooming Grove in 1824, and preached often. In fact he seems to have 
been the first resident minister of any denomination. 

Rev. William See, another Methodist, lived at Blooming Grove and 
preached in the region around. When the postoffice was established at 
Blooming Grove he became first postmaster. He probably found time to 
handle all the mail that the little settlement received, and also attend to 
his religious duties. 

The ministers of the early period were mostly itinerant preachers of 
the gospel, they were here one year and gone the next. Therefore even 
the names of most of them have been lost to history. It is known, however, 
that the earliest ministers included some from the Methodists, some of 
the Free-will Baptists, some Campbellites, or Christians, and some United 
Brethren. The Presbyterians and Congregationalists also had scattered 

Many of the churches of the early days were established right out in 
the open country, and they were attended mostly by the farmers and their 
families. But a later period saw the rural churches decline in member- 
ship and prestige and the churches located mostly in towns and cities. 
Some of the first rural churches built in McLean County have long ago 
been abandoned and left to the whims of the weather. Often a church 
was flanked by a cemetery and where the church was abandoned the ceme~ 
tery likewise fell into neglect. This is a sad state of affairs, but it is true. 

Rev. James Stringfield was the first resident minister, although Rev. 
Walker had previously visited here. Rev. Stringfield preached at the home 
of the Hendrixes in 1823. The following year a "class" was organized and 
Blooming Grove made a station in the Peoria circuit or mission. The first 
Methodist sermon was preached and the first Methodist class organized in 
Blooming Grove in 1824 and was the beginning of what is now the First 
Methodist church. For the first six years the meetings were held in the 
homes of the settlers. The first edifice was built in 1836, at a cost of $900. 
It was 32x44, and dedicated in August, 1836. It was on the corner of 

202 History of McLean County 

Main and Olive streets. Here the people worshiped from 1836 to 1851. In 
1851, the second meeting house was built upon the corner of Washington 
and East streets. It was 44x70, and cost $7,838, and was dedicated, free 
from debt, to the worship of God, on Aug. 10, 1851. It was used as a 
church from that time to 1873, when the present edifice was built. Rev. 
Zadoc Hall was minister when it was determined to build the first church. 
He himself took the contract, secured a tract of timber, took men and 
went into the woods and hewed the logs, hired carpenters to erect the 
building, and when paid the stipulated price of $1,000, found he had made 
a profit of 75 cents as contractor. The preachers who were upon the cir- 
cuit when the congregation worshiped at the courthouse were W. T. Crissy, 
William Royal, John E. French and Zadoc Hall. The ministers in the first 
church building were Zadoc Hall, S. W. D. Chase, Richard Haney, Millin 
Harker, T. W. Chandler, A. L. Risley, William M. Grubbs, Norman Allyn, 
Samuel Elliott, C. M. Holliday and Thomas Magee. The preachers serving 
in the building at East and Washington streets were R. W. Travis, W. J. 
Rutledge, Joseph Montgomery, William M. Grubbs, J. R. White, J. C. Kim- 
ber, L. C. Pitner, Reuben Andrus, W. N. McElroy, James Keaton and 
R. M. Barnes. The earlier ministers who served at the present building 
were Thomas A. Parker, W. N. McElroy and H. O. Hoffman. The church 
has had a long line of distinguished pastors, and its membership is now 
about 1,200. Rev. F. A. McCarty is pastor. 

Grace M. E. church was organized in 1867 and was known as ''Uni- 
versity Charge." When the new building was completed in 1872 Amie 
chapel became the place of worship until 1879, when Rev. J. A. Kumler 
arranged to purchase the building known as the Third Presbyterian church 
on Locust street near East. For ten years this little building was used. 
During the first pastorate of J. F. Stout funds were raised for a new 
church. Under Horace Reed in the fall of 1887 the work was taken up and 
the church finally completed and dedicated on July 21, 1889. Bishop Bown 
Bowman officiated. The new church at Locust and East cost, including 
ground, $40,000. Since then the building was extended north and a fine 
pipe organ installed. The charter members of University Charge included 
such names as David Kern, B. F. Funk, E. C. Hyde,' D. C. DeMotte, 
O. T. Reeves, J. L. Beath, Isaac Kenyon, Harry Reeves, Jesse A. Willson, 
John Carroll, John Geltmacher, Charles Munsell. The list of pastors and 
the year they began service is as follows: W. H. Webster, 1867; George 

History of McLean County 203 

Stevens, 1868; J. G. Little, 1871; W. H. Musgrove, 1874; Ira B. Henry, 
1875; W. M. McElfresh, 1876; J. A, Kumler, 1877; M. D. Hawes, 1879; 
F. J. F. Stout, 1886; Horace Reed, 1887; W. A. Smith, 1889; James Miller, 
1893; H. C. Gibbs, 1896; T. J. Wheat, 1897; B. F. Shipp, 1899; Theodore 
Kemp, 1905; Merle English, 1908; Walter Aitken, 1912; Alba C. Piersel, 
1917; A. L. Caseley, 1919, E. V. Young, 1923. 

Park Methodist church is on South Allin near Miller park, and is a 
younger congregation. Rev. N. E. Keenan is its pastor. The German 
Methodists formed a church in 1854 and maintained an organization until 
recently. The Swedish Methodists and the African Methodists maintain 
organizations with a goodly number of members. The Bloomington dis- 
trict of the Illinois conference is in charge of Rev. Charles M. Duncan at 
present, and the list of churches in McLean County and their pastors are 
as follows: First church, F. A. McCarty; Grace, E. V. Young; Park, W. 
E. Keenan; Arrowsmith, F. R. Deland; Bellflower, S. H. Hoar; Covell, W. 
E. Williams ; Heyworth, A. S. Weiss ; Weedman, S. N. Ingmore ; Downs, 
A. A. White; Leroy, T. B. Lugg; Saybrook, U. G. Johnston; Chenoa, Stan- 
ley Ward; Gridley, Ivan Obenchain; Hudson, S. G. Foster; Lexington, L. 
S. Zinser; Normal, Guy Z. Moore; Towanda, W. F. Budman; McLean, 
0. L. Clapper. 

The Catholic church has many adherents in McLean County. Rev. 
Barnard O'Hara arrived in Bloomington on Nov. 5, 1853, and the first 
services were held at the house of William O'Brien soon afterward. Later 
the old courthouse was secured and 33 communicants attended first mass 
in that building. The old M. E. church building at Olive and Main was 
bought Nov. 11, 1853, for $1,600, and was used for many years. Father 
O'Hara bought land west of the city and donated 13 acres for St. Mary's 
cemetery. The priests following along at this period were Fathers Cahill, 
Hurley, Fitzgibbons and Sherry. In 1859 Father Kennedy came, and he 
soon bought the block bounded by Main, Locust, Center and Chestnut 
streets for a church site. It was not until 1866 that the cnurch was 
started under Father O'Gara, and it was almost completed when a cyclone 
destroyed it. Then followed Father Douhig one year and then Father 
McGovern. The latter sold the old church, and the congregation wor- 
shiped in Phoenix hall. Father McDermott came in 1875, and started a 
movement to build a church, which he accomplished after many tribula- 
tions. On July 22, 1879, Father M. Weldon arrived, who was destined to 

204 History of McLean County 

have a long and distinguished record. He served 40 years, and retired 
after having been given the title of Monsignor. He is still living in retire- 
ment at the rectory, and Father C. H. Medcalf is in charge of the parish, 
with two assistants. The block now contains the church, rectory, St. Jo- 
seph's academy and St. Mary's school. The block just west is also owned 
by the church and contains St. Joseph's hall, a girls' dormitory. 

The German Catholics of Bloomington held their first meeting to form 
a church in 1852, and soon afterward Father Reeves of Wapella was as- 
signed to hold services here. A small church was built on West Taylor 
street in 1869. Some of the priests of this period were Fathers Nettstraet- 
ter, Heckman, and Schreiber. St. Joseph's cemetery was acquired, and in 
1881 the congregation was taken over by the Franciscan Fathers of Cin- 
cinnati. In 1885 the present building at Jackson and Mason was erected 
at a cost of $28,000. Just a few years ago it was stuccoed. The parish 
now has a fine church, a large school, and houses for the priests and the 
sisters. Rev. Father Adam is in charge of the parish. 

St. Patrick's parish was organized from the west end of Holy Trinity 
parish in 1892 and Rev. J. J. Burke was placed in charge. A large church, 
school and convent were built, the church having the only chimes of bells 
in the county. Rev. M. J. O'Callaghan is now in charge. 

Several places in the county outside Bloomington have Catholic 
churches. Downs is in charge of the priests of St. Patricks'. Merna has 
a large church, and Chenoa also. Lexington has a church, but no settled 

The United Brethren denomination have had congregations in Bloom- 
ington for about 15 years, and have built two beautiful but not large 
structures. The First church is in the northwest part of the city, and the 
Second in the southeast. Rev. H. M. Klinger is pastor of First, and L. A. 
Whitesell of Second. There are flourishing U. B. churches at Lexington, 
under J. Guy Jordan; at Saybrook in charge of J. T. McCreery; and at 
Anchor under G. H. Schisler. 

The First Presbyterian church of Bloomington was one of the real 
pioneer churches of the county, being organized in 1833, only three years 
after the county was organized and two years after the city of Bloom- 
ington was created. Amasa C. Washburn organized a., Sunday school in 
March, 1832, a union school though managed by Presbyterians. When the 
Methodists organized a school in 1839, they drew many from this union 

History of McLean County 205 

school, and from that time it became Presbyterian. A Presbyterian min- 
ister whose name is lost to history preached in Bloomington three times in 
July, 1832, and in December of that year Calvin W. Babbitt came here, 
and his work resulted in the official organization of the First Presbyterian 
church in January, 1833. Rev. James McGeoch was engaged in March, 
1833, for one year as minister. The congregation first met in a house at 
Main and Olive, then in a school house erected by Rev. Lemuel Foster. 
About 1843 the church began to look for a home of its own. John T. 
Stuart, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, donated a low, swampy lot at corner 
of Grove and East street, where the first building was erected in 1846. 
The lot to the east of the Stuart lot was donated by David Davis, James 
Robinson, A. Brokaw and Oliver Ellsworth. The building was not entirely 
finished until 1848. The structure cost $4,000, being built mostly by vol- 
unteer labor. It was of unique shape, somewhat after the form of a Greek 
temple. This building was used until 1895, when the present stone church 
was erected. The last service in the old building was on May 12. The 
first pipe organ was put in 1868. The various ministers of the church 
from the first were: Calvin W. Babbitt, 1833; James McGeoch, 
1833; Lemuel Foster, 1833; C. L. Watson, 1837; B. B. Drake, 
1840; David I. Perry, 1844; Fielding N. Ewing, 1850; Hugh R. Price, 
1858; John McLean, 1865; Samuel B. Taggart, 1874; Henry B. Thayer, 
1877; Frank S. Brush, 1881; Charles M. Moss, 1886; Edward K. Strong, 
1887-96; DeWitt L. Pelton, 1897-99; N. H. G. Fife, 1900-04; R. Calvin 
Dobson, 1905-10; W. A. Bodell, 1910-15; F. E. Vernon, 1915-23. The cor- 
nerstone of the present building was laid on July 23, 1895, and the struc- 
ture was completed during the following autumn and winter, and occu- 
pied in the spring of 1896. 

The Second Presbyterian church was organized on June 24, 1855, at 
a meeting held in Major's hall. There were 34 original members, mostly 
those who had left the First Presbyterian owing to differences of opinion 
on the subject of slavery. Rev. Alfred Eddy was chosen first pastor, and 
served until 1863. The first building was erected in 1856 on a lot near 
the southeast corner of East and Monroe streets. Later a tower was added 
and the building remodeled in 1877. Rev. John W. Bailey succeeded Dr. 
Eddy as pastor, and then Rev. A. MacDougal was called to the pastorate. 
Dr. J. W. Dinsmore became supply and then pastor in 1870, and he served 
with great distinction until 1891, a period of 21 years. Dr. W. P. Kane 

206 History of McLean County 

became the pastor in 1892, and he served until 1898, when he was chosen 
as president of Wabash college. A supply filled the pulpit until 1899, 
when Rev. Henry K. Denlinger became pastor. During the pastorate of 
Dr. Kane, the "old" church was abandoned, the last service being held 
May 19, 1895. The building was torn down, and in August of that year 
work was begun on the present structure, the cornerstone being laid on 
Oct. 15. The church cost $60,000 and was dedicated in 1896. Dr. Den- 
linger was followed as pastor by Rev. Frederick W. Hawley, who remained 
for about five years and then resigned to go to Oklahoma. Dr. Hawley 
was succeeded by Dr. Joseph N. Elliott, who came here from Muscatine. 
Dr. Elliott resigned in April, 1917, to take the position of home mission 
head in Illinois and Rev. W. B. Hindman came here from Ohio. He re- 
mained for about five years, and resigned in December, 1921, to go to Au- 
rora. After a few months, Rev. Charles Tupper Baillie of Plattsburgh, 
N. Y., was selected to the pastorate and is still in the position. The church 
has a membership of 800, being the largest church in the Bloomington 

Outside of Bloomington, the Presbyterians have a number of churches 
in other places in the county, some of which have been in existence from 
very early times. The list of churches of this denomination and their 
present pastors are as follows: Chenoa, Rev. Mr. Owen; Cooksville, va- 
cant; Danvers, Lewis C. Voss; Downs, vacant; Heyworth, W. R. Gibbons; 
Leroy, Thomas G. Melton; Lexington, Frank A. Campbell; Two Towanda, 
D. K. Campbell, stated supply; Stanford, Loyal W. Madden. There is a 
flourishing Presybterian church in Normal, of which Rev. Henry B. Wood- 
ing is the pastor. He succeeded Rev. Henry Abraham, who occupied the 
pulpit for many years. Prior to Rev. Abraham's term, the minister was 
for a number of years Rev. W. D. Smith. A long line of earlier ministers 
made the pulpit famous. The Presbyterian church used to stand on Ash 
street next to the public school building. When the school board bought 
the lot, the church was moved away and made into residences. The mem- 
bership at about this time effected a merger with the Congregational 
church of Normal, which had existed many years. The two churches 
took over the site of the Congregational building and there erected a very 
handsome modern church, which is occupied today. 

The Baptists are quite strong in McLean County, and are among the 
earliest organized churches. The first church in Bloomington was formed 

History of McLean County 207 

in 1837 with 20 members, including the following heads of families: Da- 
vid Haggard, Samuel Lander, W. G. Thompson, Catherine Enlow. The 
first pastor was Rev. Isaac D. Newell. Meetings were held at various 
houses. In 1843 Rev. Lyman Whitney organized a Sunday school. A 
church was built in 1848 at 107 South Madison and in '56 the building 
at Jefferson and Madison was occupied, which was burned down in the 
fire of 1900. Under Rev. F. M. Ellis in 1865-68, a church in Normal was 
formed. Under Rev. D. Read, 1880-84, the Prairie Street Baptist church 
was organized, but later disbanded. The present First church was built 
under Dr. J. L. Jackson, 1884-90. Rev. W. B. Riley, now a famous minister 
of Minneapolis, was pastor here at one time. Rev. J. L. Jackson became 
pastor for the second time in 1912, an occurrence unusual in any church. 
He served till Dec. 31, 1923, when he handed in his resignation to take 
effect Feb. 1, 1924. But death claimed him on Jan. 18. The membership 
of the church is 699. The missionaries who have gone from this church 
are Rev. Fred P. Haggard, Miss Gertrude Miller, Miss Mildred Jones. 
Rev. Frank Fagerburg, pastor of the First Baptist church at Springfield, 
Mass., and Rev. William Steinkraus, who has a charge in Indiana, are 
members of this church. The Baptist churches in McLean County outside 
Bloomington are: Chenoa, Rev. H. Westerfield, pastor; Danvers, no pastor; 
Hudson, Rev. E. D. Bell; Lexington, no pastor; Normal, Rev. George 
Sneath; Towanda, Rev. A. W. Fuller; McLean, no pastor. Chenoa church 
was organized in 1866, Danvers in 1838, Hudson in 1856; Lexington, 1860; 
Normal, 1866 ; Towanda, 1856 ; McLean, 1867. 

Congregationalists have maintained churches in McLean County for 
many years, there being organizations in Bloomington, Chenoa, Gridley, 
Normal and McLean. The Bloomington organization has a fine modern 
church at East and Mulberry streets, of which Rev. Frank L. Breen is 
pastor. It was built about fifteen years ago. The Congregational church 
in Normal merged with the Presbyterians a few years ago, and the new 
Presbyterian church erected on the former site of the Congregational. The 
Congregationalists were an organization here as early as 1842, and have 
several times been disbanded and reorganized again. 

The Disciples of Christ have a strong following in McLean County. 
The first body of worshipers was formed at Blooming Grove in August, 
1828, with five families as members. Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes, who had 
been a minister of the Baptist faith, united with William Brown to conse- 

208 History of McLean County 

crate this organization, and Rev. Rhodes afterward was known as a Chris- 
tian minister. Grassy Ridge church, south of Bloomington, was formed in 
1853 with 13 members. The First Christian church of Bloomington was 
organized in 1837 at the home of W. T. Major with 13 charter members. 
In 1840 a small frame church was built on East street between Grove and 
Front. In 1856 the lot at Jefferson and West (now Roosevelt avenue) was 
bought as a site for a church. The brick building was first occupied in. 
1857. Some of the early pastors were Leroy Skelton, T. V. Berry, D. R. 
VanBuskirk, Henry S. Earl, J. H. McCullough, A. I. Hobbs, H. D. Clark 
and B. J. Radford, and J. W. Lampheer. J. H. Gilliland came to the church 
in 1888 and served 14 years, the membership increasing in this time from 
400 to 1,500. Rev. Gilliland organized the Second church in 1902 and 
erected the building at Mulberry and Evans street, of which he then be- 
came pastor. After serving as pastor of Second church until 1910, Rev. 
Gilliland then organized the Centennial church, at Grove and Willard ave- 
nue, of which he then became pastor. Mr. Gilliland died in 1912. The 
Third church is for colored people and has a building on South Morris. 
Rev. Edgar DeWitt Jones was for many years pastor of the First church, 
being perhaps the most famous of the pastors in later years. He was 
noted as a writer, lecturer and platform orator. He arose to the highest 
honor within the gift of the organization of Disciples of Christ, being 
made national president. He is now pastor of Central Christian church at 

The Christian Church at Anchor was organized in 1891 by Dr. A. 
W. Green. Arrowsmith has had a Christian Church since 1879. The 
church at Bellflower was formed in 1891, and in 1913 the modern 
church was built. Buck Creek Church, near Lexington, was formed in 
1850 and a house erected in 1869. A church was formed at Carlock in 
1836, known as White Oak Grove, but after fifty-three years of existence 
it passed out and the membership transferred to Carlock. Colfax has had 
a church since 1867, and in 1907 the present building was erected. John 
R. Golden formed a congregation at Cooksville in 1902, succeeding the 
Blue Mound Church. Ellsworth Church succeeded the Old Town Church 
in 1867, and Heyworth Church was organized in 1872. In 1906 the present 
modern building was erected in Heyworth. A Christian Church has been 
at Holder since 1877, and at Hudson since 1877. Leroy Church was formed 
in 1888 by T. T. Holton, and a fine church erected in 1907. Lexington 

Of VH£ 

History of McLean County 209 

Church has lived since 1860 and occupies a brick building. The church at 
McLean has existed since 1903. Normal First Church, organized in 1873, 
occupied a fine new church at Fell Avenue and North Street in 1912. This 
was the last work of the lamented J. H. Gilliland. There is a colored church 
at Normal formed in 1884. Saybrook Church dates back to 1868, and 
Shirley Church to 1869. The congregation at Stanford was formed in 
1870 and has a church and parsonage. Twin Grove Church was formed 
in 1841 and still has a building after two previous ones had been burned 
down. The list of pastors of the various churches in McLean County at 
present is as follows: 

Arrowsmith, Gary Crone; Bellflower, C. S. Linkletter; Blooming 
Grove, W. D. Deweese; Bloomington First, E. E. Higdon; Second, D. N. 
Wetzel; Centennial, E. C. Beach; Third, A. L. Frost; Gregory Church, 
near Gridley, no pastor; Carlock, R. B. Doan; Colfax, Osceola McNemar; 
Cooksville, Neil H. Crawford; Ellsworth, no pastor; Gridley, no pastor; 
Heyworth, Chester Williamson; Hudson, no pastor; Leroy, B. H. Sealock; 
Lexington, William A. Askew; McLean, Thomas G. Bachelor; Normal, 
First, A. 0. Hargis ; Second, no pastor ; Saybrook, Thomas W. Bass ; Shir- 
ley, Charles Moss ; Stanford, O. Ross Keran ; Twin Grove, no pastor. 

The German Lutherans of Bloomington has for many years main- 
tained a large church and a parochial school. The church is at Madison 
and Olive Streets, and the school further south on Olive Street. The serv- 
ices were conducted in the German language until the time of the World 
War, when the English was used during that period. The school has a 
large enrollment. Rev. O. L. Hohenstein was for many years pastor of 
this church, succeeding Rev. C. F. W. Sapper, and at his death he was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Rev. Walter E. Hohenstein, the present pastor. The 
Swedish Lutherans for many years had a church on West Olive Street in 
Bloomington, but of late this has been changed to the name of the Eng- 
lish Lutheran Church. 

The Evangelical Friends Church at Front and Lee, has been in exist- 
ence for forty years. Rev. H. H. Bierbaum became pastor in 1919, and 
since then many improvements have been made. The church has a Sunday 
School, Young People's League and two Ladies' Aid Societies. The pas- 
tors of the church, since its organization, include Alexander Arronet, 
1884-5 ; M. Severing, 1885-90 ; Sam Suter, 1890-98 ; F. Harder, 1898-1900 ; 
Ed Durand, 1900-10 ; Ed Klimpke, 1910-19 ; H. H. Bierbaum, 1919-24. 


210 History of McLean County 

The Unitarian Church of Bloomington is the only one of that faith 
in the county. It was organized in 1858 and is housed in a good building 
at East and Jefferson Streets. Rev. J. H. Mueller and Rev. H. H. Burch 
are among the more recent pastors who are well known. Rev. Rupert Hol- 
loway is the present pastor. Under his leadership many public and popu- 
lar educational features have been introduced 

The work in Christian Science began in this community in 1886. Word 
had reached some of the people of Bloomington that healing through men- 
tal practice known as Christian Science was taking place elsewhere. Copies 
of the Christian Science Text-Book, "Science and Health, with Key to the 
Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, were procured. It was read and studied 
by a small group of interested persons who met at different homes to talk 
about Christian Science. 

The meetings were first held in private homes, then "Bible's Hall," 
then Washingtonian Hall, in rooms at the corner of Center and Olive 
Streets, and in Jacoby Hall on North Main Street. 

These pioneer Christian Scientists were called to minister to the sick, 
not only in the immediate locality, but in towns and country for miles 
around. By day or night, this little band of Truth seekers carried the 
gospel of healing wherever requested. 

In one instance, practitioners were called by the members of the fam- 
ily to give Christian Science treatment to a young man critically ill. It 
was reported to the city authorities that these practitioners had thrust 
themselves upon this family without invitation, and that the family needed 
the protection of the law. A patrol wagon loaded with officers were dis- 
patched in haste. When the situation was fully understood, the chief of 
police gave the word to the officers and they quietly returned to their 

On Aug. 1, 1922, this church was incorporated, as First Church of 
Christ, Scientist, Bloomington, 111. Later, the congregation rented the 
little frame church which stood on the lot now occupied by the present 
church edifice, corner of Monroe and Prairie Streets. This property was 
purchased in April, 1897, and within a month $1,300 was paid on the pur- 
chase price of $3,300. The property was paid for in full on Sept. 7, 1900. 

In 1903 this church had accumulated $5,000 toward a new edifice 
which was needed by the growing congregation. At the annual meeting 
of the Mother Church in Boston in June of that year, it was voted to build 

History of McLean County 211 

an extension to the edifice erected in 1895, at a cost of $2,000,000.00 and the 
Bloomington Church contributed its entire building fund toward this 

As an evidence of the fact that the contributions to the Mother Church 
Building Fund did not impoverish the branch churches, it should be stated 
that within three months of the dedication of the Mother Church Exten- 
sion, this church had made definite plans for the construction of a new 
building which cost when finished $55,000, though at that time there was 
less than $5,000 in the treasury. On Easter day, 1908, the last service 
was held in the old church building. On Easter day, 1909, services were 
held in this church, and formal opening services, to which the public was 
invited, occurred May 30 and and 31, 1909. 

No Christian Science Church can be dedicated until all obligations are 
fully paid. This church building was dedicated free from all debt, July 
14, 1912. 

In the thirty-five years since its organized activity in 1888 this church 
has paid out $165,000, which includes the purchase price of the lot, church 
edifice and organ, contributions to the Mother Church activities and War 
Relief fund. 

In the early history of Christian Science Churches, personal preaching 
was the custom, and Mrs. Delia H. Rigby, C. S. B. of Bloomington, 111., was 
the pastor until the order of service was changed in 1895, when she be- 
came the First Reader with Edwin O. Ropp as Second Reader. At this 
time, Mrs. Eddy ordained the Bible and Science and Health with key to 
the Scriptures, the text-book of Christian Science, to be the impersonal 
preachers for all Christian Science Churches. The result has been the 
development of Bible students among Christian Scientists in most remark- 
able numbers. Mrs. Rigby and Mr. Ropp as Readers, were succeeded by 
the following: 1903-1906, Mrs. Barbara Prince, First Reader, and John 
N. Niehaus, Second Reader; 1906-1909, Adelbert S. Eddy, First Reader, 
and Mrs. Myrtle Rodenhauser and substitutes, Second Reader; 1909-1912, 
Douglas C. Ridgley, First Reader, and Miss Flora Schneider, Second 
Reader; 1912-1915, Charles C. Gilliland, First Reader, and Mrs. Ethel 
Gooch, Second Reader; 1915-1918, Frank G. Morgan, First Reader, and 
Mrs. Osyth L. Hawk, Second Reader; 1918-1921, Andrew J. Moore, First 
Reader, and Mrs. Leota St. Clair, Second Reader; 1921-1924, Hiram J. 
Rodee, First Reader, and Mrs. Blanche Ott, Second Reader. 

212 History of McLean County 

There is only one Episcopalian Church in the county, its building being 
at Jefferson and Prairie Streets in Bloomington. It has had many well- 
known pastors since the church was formed in 1876. Rev. William BaKer 
resigned in 1922 to go to Pontiac, and is succeeded by Rev. J. G. Seacord, 
the present pastor. 

There are three Baptist Churches in Bloomington for colored people, 
they being Macedonia, with B. H. Hunter for pastor; Union, with P. W. 
Fields as pastor, and Mt. Pisgah with G. W. Hanley as pastor. 

Miss Martha Howe is the pastor of the Nazarene Church in Bloom- 
ington, which has been in existence for the past few years. 

William H. Shelper has conducted two evangelical missions in Bloom- 
ington, one on South Main and the other on West Washington Street. 
These hold nightly meetings throughout the year. 

The Weston Evangelical Church was organized in 1869 by Rev. J. B. 
Rife and reorganized in 1894 when it became a part of the United Evan- 
gelical Church. The Evangelical Association and the United Evangelical 
Church were merged Oct. 4, 1922. The Weston Zion Church is a part 
of this association. 

The Illinois Christian Missionary Society. — The Disciples of Christ 
have 700 churches and 130,000 members in Illinois. They have in the 
neighborhood of 600 preachers in the State. The movement, sometimes 
called the "Restoration Movement," began in Western Pennsylvania, with 
the preparation of a document by Thomas Campbell, known as the Declara- 
tion and Address. This was in the year 1809. Alexander Campbell, the 
son of Thomas Campbell, soon became the recognized leader of the cause. 
He established a church paper, the Christian Baptist, and after publishing 
it for seven years, discontinued it to start one with a somewhat different 
spirit, called the Millennial Harbinger. He founded Bethany College in 
West Virginia. 

As emigration came westward naturally a large number of the peo- 
ple, who had accepted the religious views of Mr. Campbell, came into the 
middle-west states, especially Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. The first two 
churches in Illinois to take the name of Christian only were in Wabash 
County, the first one actually being a country church, still alive and active, 
called Barney's Prairie. 

In the early years of the movement the churches were independent 
of each other except as they met voluntarily for mutual edification and 

History of McLean County 213 

inspiration. The Disciples are a very democratic people and have no desire 
of adopting any form of government that will make them otherwise. But 
through the years they have found that there is such a thing as Co-opera- 
tive Democracy. For a long time the tendency has been to form frater- 
nal organizations and missionary societies through which the churches 
may express themselves. 

The first church was established in this State in 1819, just one year 
after Illinois became a State. The churches grew rapidly. In 1834, at the 
close of a protracted meeting in Jacksonville, it was decided to foster co- 
operation among these churches. Various meetings were held for this 
purpose but it was not until Sept. 20, 1850, that the present State Society 
was actually organized. 

For 75 years this society has represented the Disciples of Christ in 
missionary activity and co-operative fellowship in the State. More than 
100 of the best churches in Illinois were founded by the society and more 
than one-half of the 700 churches owe their existence to its interest and 
fostering care. The headquarters of the society have been for years in 
Bloomington and at present are located at 504 Peoples Bank Building in 
that city. 

Dr. H. H. Peters accepted the office of State Secretary Sept. 1, 1916. 
His administration has been marked by evangelistic activity and church 
building. The membership of the church throughout the State is growing 
and the spiritual life is deepening. There is a very noticeable advance in 
the matter of new buildings, or the enlargement of existing plants. 

The Illinois Christian Missionary Society has in its employ an office 
and field force of eight people. The work is supported in three ways: 
1. By offerings from the churches ; 2, by interest on a permanent fund of 
$125,000 ; 3, money received by the workers for services rendered. While 
this is a State Missionary Society it co-operates fully with all of the na- 
tional and international agencies of the Disciples, including educational, 
benevolent and missionary organizations. 




From the very beginnings of its history, McLean County has been a 
pre-eminently agricultural region. Agriculture is the basis of its wealth, 
and what progress the county has made in an industrial way is related in 
no distant manner with the cultivation and improvement of the land. 
Blessed by nature with a soil which is adapted to the raising of large crops 
of various kinds of cereals, and making possible the raising of large herds 
of good stock by scientific methods of feeding the grain, these two sources 
of income for the farming population form the foundation on which is 
built the prosperity of the rural community and of the towns and cities 
to which they contribute. 

Of course, the earliest settlers of the county had to live entirely by 
agriculture, and that of the crudest sort. Having built his log cabin on 
the edge of a protecting grove, the early settler next began to cultivate 
the soil around his home in the fashion which the facilities at his com- 
mand would permit. Usually he had only a wooden plow, and with this 
it was difficult to break up the prairie sod. In fact, at times the break- 
ing up of the soil in large patches became impossible, and the settler re- 
sorted to chopping a hole, dropping a few grains of corn into it, and then 
covering with his heel. This sort of cultivation resulted the first year in 
producing some little corn stalks, to be used as fodder for the cattle or 


History of McLean County 215 

horses which the farmer possessed; the second year in a limited crop of 
ear corn, and perhaps after that time the cultivation of the soil had pro- 
gressed to the point where more considerable results might be realized. 
The first plows brought to this county were little more than wooden shov- 
els, and the farmer had to stop his horse every few yards and clean off the 
earth from the moulding board in order to permit of progress of any kind. 
This being true, it was easy to see that no farmer could attempt the culti- 
vation of any great area of land. 

But as a compensation for the hard methods of cultivation which hin- 
dered the earlier form of land tillage, was the great open space of prairie 
land lying in thousands of acres between the groves and streams and be- 
yond the small areas of cultivated tracts. Land had little or no value, and 
every newcomer could take all that he wanted, although quarter sections 
were most desired, as this was about the maximum acreage that an ordi- 
nary family could hope to cultivate or use. The open prairies were used 
as pasture lands for what stock the early settlers brought with them or 
acquired after they located here. The stock was allowed to roam at large 
in summer, and in winter it was fed such stuff as the farmer could pro- 
duce in the form of fodder or ear corn until such time as he could drive 
his stock to the nearest market, which was in Peoria, or perhaps Galena, 
for Chicago did not figure as a stock market in the early years. The price 
per acre paid by the first settlers was $1.25 from the years 1832 until 
about ten years later. The first entries were in the immediate vicinity of 
the groves, for no one thought of entering land in the open prairies. 

It was more than twenty years after the county was first settled be- 
fore the railroads were built through this section. The early settlers 
therefore had no market for their produce and were forced to dispose of 
it at home, either by grinding their grain for family use or feeding to 

From the very first, corn became the chief product of McLean County 
farms. First, because it was the easiest grain crop for which to obtain 
seed; then, its cultivation was a simpler process than that of oats or 
wheat. True, some of the early settlers had little patches of wheat which 
they harvested by crude methods and hauled to market to have it ground 
for family use. The nearest mills were located along some stream, either 
Kickapoo creek or the Mackinaw river, while some farmers went as far 
as Peoria, or Wabash, Ind., to have their milling done. 

216 History of McLean County 

The coming of the railroads, in the years 1850 to '60, opened up a new 
era for the agriculture of McLean County, for the railroads provided what 
had up to that time been missing, a way to get to market. When the 
roads were built, farmers could aspire to greater production of grains or 
cattle, for they could see a way to get their surplus to market and thus 
realize a cash income from their farms. The whole thought in those days 
was to get the most from the land, and it was not until 50 years later that 
the idea of paying back to the land some of the elements of its fertility 
which the crops had extracted from it began to be taught to the farmers. 
The importance of this compensation process is now universally known 
and acknowledged by the farmers of McLean County and of central Illinois. 

As the population of the county increased, as the extent of cultivated 
lands grew apace, and when the railroads had come to furnish a highway 
to market, the values of farm lands began to increase more rapidly than 
had been thought possible prior to the introduction of these factors. 

Before we go farther, it may be well to briefly mention the character 
of the soil of McLean County, which explains its agricultural production 
and the methods of its farmers. The government geological survey shows 
that what is called Marshall silt loam composes 574,000 acres of the Mc- 
Lean County area, or 77.5 per cent of the total area. Miami black clay 
loam composes 70,000 acres, or nearly 10 per cent; Miami silt loam is 
found on 58,300 acres, or 7.9 per cent; Kakaskia loam on 20,000 acres, or 
2.7 per cent, and McLean silt loam on 17,984 acres, or 2.4 per cent. 

Corn, oats and hay are the only crops grown upon the Marshall silt 
loam, which comprises so large a proportion of the surface of McLean 
County. Of these corn is the most important, and this fact gives rise to 
the saying so widely known that McLean County is the hub of the corn 
belt of the United States. There is no need to attempt a scientific essay 
on the composition of these varying types of soil. Sufficient to say that 
the Marshall silt loam is a remarkably uniform soil, considering its large 
area. The surface ranges from gently rolling to rolling, the crests of the 
most pronounced undulations being not over 20 feet above the intervening 
depressions. The main body of the soil of the county is well known as 
the "black soil," a term which formerly was supposed to mean inexhausti- 
ble fertility. But it has been proved by a half century of actual farming 
that the black soil cannot survive forever unless the elements of which it 
is robbed by cultivation shall at intervals be replaced. 

History of McLean County 217 

With the many streams of varying size which flow through McLean 
County, the surface in general is adapted for natural drainage. But in 
spite of this fact it is true that in the early days large areas of undrained 
lands, known as swamp lands, existed. For the quarter of a century, from 
about 1880, the chief concern of the farmers of the county was to get 
their lands drained, and tiling grew to be a big business in those days. 
The large proportion of McLean County farm lands are now artificially 
drained by under-surface tiling. The drainage question is now a closed 
issue except in some remoter sections of the county which have been back- 
ward in agricultural development. 

We have spoken of the crude implements with which the early farmer 
pursued his tasks. In the era succeeding the civil war, there was a won- 
derful development along these lines. Wooden plows went out of use, and 
improved makes of steel plows became common. Gang plows, or those 
with several blades instead of one, came into fashion. Then the riding 
plow, on which the farmer could sit and drive his team as they went across 
the field. Corn planters of a mechanical kind succeeded the old hand 
planters. Reaping machines came into use, and the old methods of thresh- 
ing grain gave way to steam engines and immense "separators" which 
could take the grain from the straw at the rate of thousands of bushels 
per day. Wagons, too, were improved in size and make and capacity for 
hauling. With all these changes and betterments of implements, the size 
of the farms which one man could manage and cultivate constantly grew. 
And it also gave rise to the custom of tenant farming, where the owner 
of the land could live in a near-by village or distant city, while the actual 
farming was done by a man and his family who lived in a tenant house 
and performed the work for a stipulated proportion of the crops, or paid 
the owner a certain rate per acre in cash. 

The values of farm lands had a gradual but steady increase during all 
the years from the close of the civil war until the time of the world war. 
Of course there were slumps in 1873 and following years, and again in 
1893 and the few years succeeding, because the general business condi- 
tions of the country had suffered depression. Grain and stock raising 
continued to be the chief agricultural industries. Grain elevators sprung 
up at nearly every town in the county, and shipments went out from this 
county to all the markets, Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, New Orleans, 
and even to Kansas City. The completion of the east and west railroads, 

218 History of McLean County 

the New York Central and the Lake Erie lines, through this county, 
opened up an outlet for grain to the east, which before had been lacking. 
This made competition serve a better turn for the farmers. 

We can pass over some of the incidents of the agricultural progress 
of the county for the period from 1865 to 1900, and come on rapidly to the 
modern era of power farming. This period is of only about ten years' 
duration up to the present time. 

Mechanical power succeeds horse power in many operations on the 
farm in the present day. It began with the introduction of the stationary 
machinery, such as the threshing machine, and the horse-drawn reaping 
machine. But then came the era of the automobile as a means of trans- 
portation, which was followed in its second decade by the general intro- 
duction of gasoline engines in the operations of 'plowing, cultivation of 
grains, handling of grain in the barns, power churning, and the operation 
of machine shops on a small scale on the farm. 

What were called farm tractors marked the next step in this era of 
the development of mechanical power in farm work to succeed the 
use of horses. The manufacturers of motor cars for transportation de- 
veloped a more heavily built machine with greater power and with huge 
flanged wheels for making its way over plowed fields or rough ground. 
This was the tractor. Behind it might be hitched a series of plows, two, 
three, four, or even as high as eight blades in one diagonal drag. The 
engine was propelled by gasoline in what is called technically an internal 
explosion engine. 

About the year 1915 was held in Bloomington a national tractor dem- 
onstration, when scores of different types of farm power machines were 
here for a week and gave an exhibit of their work in fields east and south 
of the city. Another similar demonstration on even a larger scale was 
given the following year. These public exhibitions of the modern methods 
of farming on a large scale attracted perhaps the greatest crowds of peo- 
ple ever drawn together at a public event of any kind in McLean County. 
It was estimated that as high as 100,000 people attended the demonstra- 
tions during the week of the second year's tractor show. The affair was 
engineered by the Bloomington Association of Commerce, in co-operation 
with the farmers of the vicinity and of the county in general. On certain 
days a long line of different makes of tractors plowed parallel strips of a 
field which had been in oats stubble. The farmers were therefore able to 

History of McLean County 219 

compare the methods of the different makes of tractors. The net results 
of all this public show was to introduce scores of tractors on the farms of 
the county within the next year or two. Many farmers learned to run 
the machines who might not otherwise have had their attention called to 
them. It must be said that not every farmer who tried running a tractor 
made a success of it, some failing for various reasons. But on the whole, 
the era of power farming in this county can be dated from the great 
tractor demonstrations of 1915-16. 

The World War period formed a distinct era for the farmers of this 
and other central Illinois counties. Under the urge of government agen- 
cies, the amount of food grains produced was increased by a large per- 
centage. Prices, too, went up to heights that were undreamed of before, 
and a period of unusual prosperity seemed at hand for the farmers who 
carried on their work in a sensible manner. 

Land values likewise arose to heights that had never before been 
reached, and farm lands in McLean County sold as high as $400 p er acre 
and more in some instances. Many deals were made on that basis, and 
while some of those who handled high-priced lands lost by later deflation, 
those who could foresee the natural recession that must come did not 
stand to lose. 

For two or three years after the world war saw the hardest period 
that farmers of McLean County have experienced in this generation. 
With the drop in prices of grains and stock, many of the farmers were 
unable to market their crops at a profit at all, inasmuch as they had paid 
inflated prices for labor and other factors which had entered into the 
production of their crops. Indeed, very serious losses stared in the face 
scores of farmers in the county. Values of land decreased in correspond- 
ence with the general drop of farm produce. But by the year 1922-23 
it was thought that the low-water mark had been reached, and it is hoped 
and expected that a new era of farm prosperity is awaiting the land 
owners and tenants of this county who judiciously carry on their work. 
It cannot be expected to reach the high-water mark of war times, but the 
great slump of 1920-21 is definitely passed, and the scale is turning upward 
in the years 1923-24. Prices for farm lands as recorded in some of the 
March first deals for 1924 ranged from $200 to $300 per acre for land that 
is well situated and in good condition. Of course some tracts that are 
poorly located or have meager improvements sell for much less per acre. 

220 History of McLean County 

From the last published annual report of Harrison Fahrnkopf, that 
of the year 1922-23, some interesting facts are gleaned about the agricul- 
tural resources of the county, as well as to the activities of the farm 
bureau, as follows: 

"In the value of all farm property McLean is the second richest county 
in the United States. Los Angeles County, Cal., is the first, with a 
value of all farm property in 1920 of $396,915,164; McLean County is sec- 
ond, with a value of all farm property of $267,337,088. 

In the value of crops harvested McLean County ranks as the seventh 
richest county in the United States — this is according to the figures for 
1919. Los Angeles County, Cal., again is first, with a value of crops 
harvested in 1919, $62,212,843 ; McLean County is seventh, with a value 
of crops harvested in 1919 of $26,887,618. 

"The counties of Los Angeles and San Joaquin and Tulare, Cal. ; the 
county of Aroostook, Me., the county of Lancaster, Pa., and the county 
of Whitman, Wash., are ahead of McLean County in the value of crops 
harvested for 1919." 

The following agricultural facts concerning McLean County are 
gleaned from the federal census of 1920: 

Value of land in farms $230,357,416 

Value of livestock on farms 11,022,626 

Value farm buildings 19,294,099 

Value implements and machinery 6,665,947 

Value of all farm property in McLean County _ $267,337,088 

McLean County has 4,309 farms: 

Owners operate 1,707 

Managers operate 109 

Tenants operate 2,493 


Approximately 58 per cent of the farms of McLean County are oper- 
ated by tenants ; 40 per cent by owners, and 2 per cent by managers. 

History of McLean County 221 


Total No. Total Value. 

Horses 34,542 $3,648,621 

Mules 2,935 376,552 

Beef cattle 26,185 2,033,582 

Dairy cattle 26,412 1,752,331 

Sheep 14,166 189,160 

Swine 133,576 2,532,091 

Chickens and other poultry 467,080 474,898 


Receipts from sale of dairy products $781,910 

Receipts from sale of chickens and eggs 605,301 

Average production of milk per dairy cow 294 gallons 

Total Acres. Total Bu. 

Corn 289,012 12,076,089 

Oats 167,011 5,738,363 

Wheat 56,741 1,092,772 

Barley 376 9,282 

Rye 2,043 28,208 

Total Acres. Tons. 

Timothy 12,758 15,345 

Clover 13,827 15,677 

Alfalfa 2,178 5,111 

Timothy and clover mixed 10,732 13,208 

Rye 2,043 




Nothing tells the story of the growth and development of McLean 
County, particularly the city of Bloomington, the county seat, like the his- 
tory of its public utilities. In fact the economic and industrial part of the 
county's history would not be complete without recording the early strug- 
gles and vicissitudes of the sturdy and far-sighted pioneers of the utilities, 
who not only had civic pride and faith in their community, but the temer- 
ity to launch projects considered at the time extremely precarious financial 
ventures because of the scarcity of money and the crude tools and equip- 
ment they had to furnish service with. 

The history of the utility properties in the county, furnishing power 
and light, the heating service, street railway lines, and the Illinois Traction 
System, now controlled by the Illinois Power and Light Corporation, is an 
interesting one. 

Figures on the company's books, particularly those from 1912 to 1924, 
give a splendid idea of how the growth of the population, the increasing 
of homes and enlargement of industries in McLean County have made 
demands and are still making them upon the properties of the public 

In 1912, or about the time of the installation of the modern electric 
meter to measure service for customers, the power company now operated 


History of McLean County 223 

by the Illinois Power and Light Corporation, had 2,138 meters in service. 
A survey at the beginning of the year 1924 showed there were 12,326 
meters in service. 

And, from a few thousand persons carried annually on the early horse- 
car line of the pioneer days of the community, the 'company's modern and 
up-to-date electric power lines now carry millions of people annually, for 
in 1923, 4,655,974 passengers were carried on the city railway lines of 
Bloomington and Normal. The heating service, too, furnished by the 
exhaust steam at the electric power plant of the company, inaugurated in 
1900, shows the growth of Bloomington. At the opening of the year 1924 
the company was serving 291 customers with heat. 

The figures at the beginning of 1924 also showed the city railway lines 
had 18.2 miles of track; 28V2 miles of Illinois Traction System roadway in 
McLean County, and 10,061 feet of steam heating mains. 

To furnish the electric power for lighting and the street car service, 
the company has a 5,000 k. w. steam generating electric power plant. 

A total of 22 modern electric cars were in service on the city railway 
lines in Bloomington and Normal at the beginning of 1924. 

And at the time this was written it required the services of 200 em- 
ployes, headed by D. W. Snyder, Jr., general manager, to operate the 
properties of the Illinois Power and Light Corporation in McLean County, 
with an annual payroll of $300,000. 

Twenty-two towns and villages in the county receive their electric 
light and power generated at the Bloomington power plant of the cor- 

One electric transmission line, 50 miles in length, is in service out 
from Bloomington, and supplies power to Chenoa, El Paso, Enright, Grid- 
ley, Hudson, Kappa, Kerrick, Meadows and Lexington. The line was built 
in 1912 and carries 33,000 volts. Another line, 11 miles long, carrying 
6,600 volts, extends from Gridley to Flanagan. The company sells cur- 
rent to the LeRoy Electric Company, which has a line 23 miles in length, 
13,200 volts, from Bloomington to LeRoy, running through and furnishing 
light and power to the villages of Cooksville, Colfax, Downs, Ellsworth 
and Gillum. The company also sells current to the Shirley Electric Com- 
pany, the Secor Electric Company and the Carlock Electric Company. 
The Shirley Electric Company has a line 12 miles long, carrying 6,600 
volts, from Bloomington to Shirley and Funk's Grove. The line of the 

224 History of McLean County 

Secor Electric Company is 10 miles in length, carries 6,600 volts, and 
operates from El Paso to Secor. The line of the Carlock Electric Company 
is 12 miles long, carries 6,600 volts, and serves the towns of Carlock and 
Congerville. The Illinois Power and Light Corporation also has one and 
one-half mile of line from Bloomington to the car shops of the Chicago & 
Alton Railway. This line carries 33,000 volts and supplies the shops with 
power. The company has a fine electric substation at Morton, with 6,600 
volt transmission line to Tremont and Groveland. 

It is in the story of the street railway system, the second public utility 
promoted in the county, built from Bloomington to Normal, that the halo 
of historical romance is around. A company of public-spirited men of the 
time, composed of the late Henry C. Fell, Norval Dixon, Lyman Ferre, 
William C. Hendryx and William A. Pennel, was formed in 1867 and started 
to build a car line from Bloomington to Normal. Little money was ex- 
pected to be made from the enterprise, the improvement being built largely 
as a matter of civic development. 

Work was begun on the line which extended from Grove street in 
Bloomington to Normal, stopping at the Illinois Central and Chicago & 
Alton Railway depots. The cost of the construction was $60,000. Before 
any cars were operated, the late Asa H. Moore, then superintendent of the 
Chicago & Alton Railway, purchased the property from the original build- 
ers in 1868. The service, 30 minutes between the two towns, was started 
The cars were hauled by two steam dummy engines. The panting, puffing 
dummy engines with their scarfs of black smoke trailing behind in the 
city streets and the noise of their shrill little whistles, became very annoy- 
ing to the populace and pressure began to be exerted on the city fathers 
to abate the nuisance. 

As a result of the objections the company was compelled to take off 
the dummy engine from its cars entering Bloomington at the car barn, at 
Park street and University avenue. Mules were hitched on and the little 
courtesying, bobbing cars, carrying their 10 or a dozen passengers, were 
hauled by the animals the remainder of the trip to the downtown district 
of Bloomington. After one year of operation in this manner the engines 
were discarded entirely and mules substituted over the whole line. 

In addition to the passenger service the road did an extensive freight 
business, hauling cars of wheat direct from the tracks of the Chicago & 
Alton Railway at Normal to the Novelty Mills, then located where the 

History of McLean County 225 

Illini Theater now stands — Market and East streets. To reach the mills 
a spur was built from the main line on Main street. The freight business 
of the line lasted until 1873. When the Bloomington and Normal railway- 
was built the track was constructed of 25-pound rails, costing $30 per ton. 
The weight of the rail in the system was gradually increased from time 
to time until today the greater part of Bloomington street railway system 
is equipped with 90 and 100-pound rails, costing $60 a ton. The entire 
section of the Bloomington system in the downtown district was rebuilt 
in 1922 and 1923. Heavy rails, solid manganese switches, frogs and curves 
and Dayton resilient steel ties were used in the new work. 

During the regime of Asa Moore in the operation of the Bloomington 
& Normal Railway demands for expansion began to be felt within a few 
years after the first rails were laid. 

In 1881 a line on Chestnut street in Bloomington was constructed 
from the main line to the Chicago & Alton Railway tracks. In 1883 the 
Front street line was built from Main street over Front street to Robinson 
street, south on Robinson street to Grove street, then east to its terminus 
at the Illinois Central Railway tracks. 

That section of the system known as the "Union Depot Line" was 
constructed in 1884 from Main street to the Chicago & Alton Railway Com- 
pany's tracks. Mr. Moore experienced some opposition in the building of 
this section of the system because of a franchise held by Messrs. McBeam 
and Foster, two highly influential men of the time operating a bus line 
over the street. Mr. Moore, however, acquired their rights and built the 
car line and the bus service passed into history. 

In 1888 an eastern syndicate headed by W. H. Patterson and John 
Graham purchased the system from Mr. Moore. 

Mr. Patterson made his residence in Bloomington and was general 
manager of the railway. During his regime numerous extensions were 
made. The Miller Park line on Allin street was built from Washington 
street to Wood street ; the line on Main street was extended from the Big 
Four Railway tracks to Lincoln street; the Center street line was con- 
structed to Seminary avenue and Mason street ; the Clinton Belt Line was 
built and the track extending south on Robinson street was taken up and 
laid north on Robinson street to Washington street and extended east on 
Washington street to Towanda avenue. 

In 1890 the street railway system was electrified, the mules were un- 


226 History of McLean County 

hitched from the cars and disappeared forever. With so much develop- 
ment of the system that had gone on, the company's property became 
mortgaged to the extent of $200,000. Unable to lift the mortgage the 
company faced serious financial difficulties. A local syndicate composed 
of A. E. DeMange, John Eddy, George Mcintosh and Montgomery Evansj 
organized a new company, lifted the mortgage and took over the operation 
of the system. The new company began further extensions and improve- 
ments at once. 

Immediately upon acquiring the property a passing track was con- 
structed on Main street, extending from Front street to Jefferson street. 
In 1899, the Front street line, only running as far east on Washington 
street to Towanda avenue, was extended east to Vale street and south on 
Vale street to Grove street. 

In 1900 the line on South Main street was extended from Lincoln 
street to Houghton's Lake. Considerable opposition was encountered in 
extending the line south beyond the city limits at LaFayette street, from 
the board of county supervisors, but the track was finally laid and service 

In 1902 a franchise was secured from the town of Normal for the 
building of the Normal loop and Fell avenue lines, and both were built. 
During this same year the Chicago & Alton Railway subway was con- 
structed, doing away with a dangerous grade crossing at the intersection 
of Franklin avenue and Beaufort street. During the year a line was built 
on Gridley street from Front street to Oakland avenue and then on east 
to the Illinois Central Railway tracks. This was known as the Oakland 
avenue line. 

The following year the Chestnut street and Center street lines were 
looped together by extending the track down Mason street from Seminary 
avenue to Walnut street and west on Walnut street to the right of way of 
the Chicago & Alton Railway Company, crossing a corner of the steam 
road's track and joining the Chestnut street line at its terminus. 

The same year, 1903, the Front street line was looped with the Oakland 
avenue line, the Oakland avenue line being run east on Oakland avenue to 
Vale street and thence north to the terminus of the Front street line at 
Grove street. A passing track, four blocks in length, was installed on 
Vale street to facilitate service. 

History of McLean County 227 

The next change in the destinies of the Bloomington & Normal Rail- 
way, which had begun in 1867 as the Bloomington Horse Railway, came 
on Jan. 6, 1906, when Mr. DeMange and his associates sold the system to 
Hodenpyl, Walbridge & Company for a price stated to be about $1,000,000, 
who later conveyed the properties to William B. McKinley, at that time, 
and has since been, very active in building up public utilities in Illinois 
and the Central States. 

Mr. McKinley having previously acquired control of the Consumers 
Light & Heat Company, of which a word will be said later, the street 
railway company and the light company were merged into one company, 
becoming the Bloomington and Normal Railway & Light Company. Many 
changes were made in the properties after the merger, particularly in 
improving the character of the construction and equipment. 

The Oakland avenue-Front street loop was abandoned, the Front street 
line terminating at Vale and Taylor streets. The track on Vale street 
from Taylor street to Oakland avenue was torn out and the line extended 
east on Oakland avenue to Mercer avenue. 

Since Mr. McKinley purchased the property over $675,000 has been 
expended on the street railway portion of the property. The first two 
double-truck electric street cars to operate in Illinois were operated on the 
Bloomington system and later the interurban railway. The latest im- 
provement to date is the Birney street car or "one man" car, which is 
rapidly being adopted in leading cities of the country because of its safety 
features. A big percentage of street railway accidents is cut down where 
Birney cars are in operation. The car is operated by one man, who acts 
as both motorman and conductor. The car cannot be started with the 
door open. This style of car has reduced accidents to almost nothing. 

All of the public utility services in McLean County at the present 
writing, with the exception of gas and water, are furnished by the Illinois 
Power and Light Corporation which acquired the properties in July, 1923. 

William B. McKinley is chairman of the board of this company; 
Clement Studebaker, Jr., president; William A. Baehr, vice president and 
general manager ; H. E. Chubbuck, vice-president ; H. L. Hanley, vice-pres- 
ident and general attorney; Scott Brown, vice-president and secretary; 
George M. Mattis, vice president and treasurer; and P. C. Dings, chairman 
of the finance committee. 

228 History of McLean County 

The first electric lights that the residents of Bloomington saw were 
four that flickered and sputtered high in the sky, suspended from the 
courthouse dome one night in the year 1880. 

The lights were placed on the courthouse for demonstration purposes 
by the Leo Daft Electrical Company, who had built a small plant near 
the street railway car barns, University avenue and McLean street. The 
company had ambitions to use the power for commercial lighting purposes. 
It was the belief of the electrical men at that period that a wide area of 
city could be lighted by suspending the lights high in the air. In some 
cities they placed them on tall steel towers. 

About the time the Leo Daft company started, other electrical men, 
backed by capitalists, were turning their eyes toward Bloomington as a 
field for activity. A plant, later known as the Jenny plant, was built on 
the present site of the power house of the Illinois Power and Light Cor- 
poration on Roosevelt street. It was begun in 1880 and finished in 1882. 
Then some capitalists came in from Ft. Wayne, Ind., and built what was 
known as the Ft. Wayne plant. 

About the same period A. E. DeMange started the Bloomington Elec- 
tric Company and took over the Ft. Wayne plant. 

A company known as the Union Gas & Electric Company, also began 
developing gas and electric service, paying more attention to gas than 
electricity. It is still in existence, furnishing Bloomington with gas. In 
1890 the city railway was electrified, the power furnished by the Leo 
Daft Company. 

Then the historical fire swept Bloomington in 1900 and soon after 
there was a movement to organize a new power and light company. The 
result was that the Consumers Power & Light Company came into exist- 
ence. A new plant was erected and finished one year after the fire. Be- 
sides furnishing power and light, the company announced it would fur- 
nish heat as well. 

The new company was formed by a coterie of Bloomington business 
men. Among them were Wolf Gresheim, Robert Johnson, W. S. Harwood, 
George S. Hanna, Albert Wochner, C. W. Robinson, C. M. Harlan, George 

W. S. Harwood was president; G. S. Hanna, vice-president and treas- 
urer ; C. W. Robinson, secretary, and M. G. Linn, now managing the power 

History of McLean County 229 

plant of the Illinois Power and Light Corporation at Des Moines, Iowa, 
was general manager. 

Mr. DeMange, then at the head of the Bloomington Electric Com- 
pany, and others acquired the power plant and properties of the Bloom- 
ington and Normal Railway. 

Both the Consumers Power & Light Company and the city railway 
were operated separately until William B. McKinley purchased, in 1906, 
first the Consumers Power & Light Company, then the Bloomington & 
Normal Railway Company, and merged the two under the control of what 
was then known as the McKinley system, operating many public utility 
properties in Central Illinois. 

When the Illinois Power & Light Corporation was formed in 1923, 
merging the McKinley and Studebaker interests of Illinois into one vast 
company, the Bloomington properties came in under the control of the 
new concern and is now operating them. 

Bloomington is so situated on the lines of the Illinois Traction Sys- 
tem that excellent interurban service is afforded with connections to 
Peoria, Springfield, Decatur and St. Louis. 

The first interurban car in service for Bloomington was the one run 
over the new McKinley line from Bloomington to Decatur on June 30, 
1906. The line to Peoria was opened on June 6, 1907. 

Gas Companies. — The first public utility in the county was gas serv- 
ice furnished by the Bloomington Gas Light & Coke Company at Bloom- 
ington, which began operating a plant in 1857 and furnished street light- 
ing service from the Illinois Central railway tracks to the Chicago & 
Alton railway depot. The plant was located at Market and Oak Streets. 
It was abandoned in 1867 and a new one built by General A. Gridley. 

The Union Gas & Electric Company of Bloomington as it exists to- 
day is the outgrowth of several previous attempts to construct and oper- 
ate successful gas plants in the city. The first of these was the Bloom- 
ington Gas Light & Coke Company, established in 1857, and owned mostly 
by Franklin Price through an incorporated company. The plant was at 
the northwest corner of Oak and Market Streets. After the property had 
passed into the hands of General Gridley, he constructed new works just 
west of the Alton railroad tracks and north of Washington Street. The 
gas company furnished the illumination for the streets of the city for 

230 History of McLean County 

several years prior to the introduction of electric street lighting. Bloom- 
ington was one of the first cities in the state to light its streets with gas. 
In 1882 a new gas company was given a franchise to use the streets of the 
city, and it tore up many of the streets for the purpose of laying its pipes. 
It was thought that competing companies would result in lower rates to 
consumers. But after the new company had done much work, a consoli- 
dation was effected and the gas business was again in the hands of a 
single company. 

In the year 1901, the gas company decided to branch out into Normal, 
and secured a franchise from the town council to lay mains and otherwise 
use the streets and alleys for service. The franchise was secured in the 
name of James A. Wilcox, Duncan M. Funk, John T. Lillard, J. 0. Will- 
son and Willard A. Parritt, who were the officers of the company in those 
days. The service was gradually installed and now covers Normal almost 
as thoroughly as it does Bloomington. Many miles of mains were laid 
in Normal. 

In the year 1908 a New York syndicate acquired the franchises and 
capital stock of all the gas interests of Bloomington, taking over both 
the Bloomington Gaslight and Coke Company and the Citizens' Gaslight 
& Heating Company. This new concern at once began a new policy of 
modernizing and bettering the equipment and! consequently the service. 
This policy has been steadily pursued to the present time. 

J. A. Perkins was for several years the local manager under the 
ownership of the New York capitalists. He was succeeded by Ray Stretch, 
who remained in charge a few years. About three years ago Roy E. Chew 
became the local manager and is now in charge. Under his supervision 
the local property has been still further improved, until it is now one of 
the best of its size in the United States. A survey taken last year of the 
condition of gas properties in Illinois, one hundred in number, placed the 
Bloomington plant as second in point of modern equipment and efficient 

The total valuation of the physical properties of the Union Gas & 
Electric Company is now about $1,600,000. There are 86 miles of gas 
mains in Bloomington and Normal, and 8,350 meters are in place, or one 
to about every four persons in the two cities. The company employs 75 
people on an average, and at certain seasons when outdoor work is in 

History of McLean County 231 

progress, the lists run as high as 150 to 200 people. The annual payroll 
of the company is about 8100,000. 

This company produces annually 250,000,000 cubic feet of gas for 
illumination, heating and the many other uses to which the substance is 
now put. The company pays taxes of $20,000 yearly. 

One of the most interesting features of this public utility is its policy 
of customer ownership. Several years ago it started out on this well- 
defined plan of interesting its patrons and other citizens in owning stock 
in the company. Up to date, there are about 400 people in the two cities 
who own stock of greater or lesser sums. These include nearly every 
employe of the company. The total investments represented by these 
resident stockholders is upward of $224,000. Thus while the nominal 
headquarters are in a distant city, the capital which controls its manage- 
ment is largely in the hands of the very people who use its product. The 
local directors and officers now include: C. F. J. Agle, vice-president; 
Lee Rust, director; Dan Fitzgerrell, director; William Beasley, assistant 
secretary and treasurer; R. E. Chew, director and general manager. 

Telephone Systems. — The Central Union, or otherwise known as the 
Bell Telephone System, was the pioneer commercial line in this county, 
although attempts to build telephones had previously been made, but they 
proved little more than toys so far as utility is concerned. Fred Beckman, 
still in the business after 44 years, came to Bloomington in 1880 from St. 
Louis, where he had just learned the rudiments of the then rather crude 
business, as a lineman. Mr. Beckman helped to construct the first sys- 
tem of Bell telephones here for the few years following 1880. When the 
business expanded and grew to large proportions, Mr. Beckman was made 
superintendent of the local plant, a position which he retained until its 
consolidation with the Kinloch system in 1920. He is still in charge of 
the long distance business of the Bell company in Bloomington and Mc- 
Lean County. 

The Bell Telephone Company owned the only telephone system in 
Bloomington until about 1895, when James B. Taylor and H. S. Bower 
organized an independent company called "Home Telephone Company" 
with a limited number of telephones. 

After three or four years John T. Lillard, John J. Pitts, C. P. Soper, 
Lyman Graham and V. E. Howell furnished additional capital, acquired 

232 History of McLean County 

the system and owned it until about 1902, when A. B. Cotton and Hart 
F Farwell purchased the system. Mr. Farwell soon after sold his inter- 
est to Mr. Cotton. A. B. Cotton, about 1905, sold the Home Telephone 
Company plant or system, to a group of people who are still the principal 
owners, and who then formed a new corporation, the present Kinloch- 
Bloomington Telephone Company. From 1905 to date the list of subscrib- 
ers has grown from 1,200 to 10,000. 

About 1912 the McLean County Telephone Company which had been 
conducting an independent toll business, sold its toll lines to Kinloch- 
Bloomington Telephone Company. 

In January, 1922, the Bell Telephone Company sold their local plant 
to Kinloch-Bloomington Telephone Company, the Bell Company retaining 
its toll lines and long distance traffic. All Bell, also all independent toll 
lines throughout the country, are connected with the Kinloch-Blooming- 
ton exchange. 

John T. Lillard has been president of the Kinloch-Bloomington Tele- 
phone Co. since its organization; Hart F. Farwell has been vice-president 
and general manager during all said time. The rates charged by the 
Bloomington telephone company are the lowest rates charged by any 
similar plant in the State of Illinois, and perhaps as low as any similar 
plant in the United States. 

In 1902 when Home Telephone Company was acquired by Mr. Far- 
well and Mr. Cotton it occupied the second floor in the building at 216 
West Jefferson Street; the office of the company was about that time 
moved to the north end of the Evans Building, fronting on Main Street, 
just north of the Corn Belt Bank Building. 

In 1920 the telephone company purchased the three-story and base- 
ment building 513-515 North Main Street, together with the lot 517 next 
north of same; a total frontage of 72 feet and depth of 100 feet. The 
entire building, 513-515, was rebuilt for the uses of the company, new 
switchboards and new apparatus were placed in the building and under- 
ground conduits and cables were constructed to and in the newly acquired 

In January, 1922, the exchange and all equipment was moved from 
the Evans Building where it had been located for 15 years, to the Lillard 
Building. The company now has 9,500 subscribers in Bloomington and 
Normal, or about one to three people. This is an unusually high percent- 

History of McLean County 233 

age of service. Connected with the Bloomington exchange are about 
9,000 instruments operating through the many exchanges located in dif- 
ferent towns of the county. The company employs 110 people in all ca- 
pacities from operators at the exchange to linemen and other workers 
on the outside. 

Thomas C. Ainsworth has been superintendent of the Kinloch plant 
here for about twelve years. He is known as one of the best telephone 
men in the country. 




The industrial and manufacturing interests of Bloomington are cen- 
tered largely in the repair and machine shops of the Chicago & Alton 
Railroad, which form the largest single industry of the city. These shops 
were established in Bloomington soon after the road was built through 
the city, in 1853. Col. R. P. Morgan, the superintendent, and Jesse W. 
Fell, rode horseback from Bloomington to Joliet looking for the most 
available site, and finally chose Bloomington. The road was poor and 
its first group of buildings were temporary wooden structures, located 
"way out of town." In 1857 they employed 180 men. On Oct. 31, 1867, 
the shops burned down. Should they be rebuilt? Some of the directors 
favored having their repair work done in Chicago, but a committee of 
Bloomington citizens headed by Judge David Davis and Jesse Fell urged 
on President Timothy B. Blackstone the claims of Bloomington to such 
good effect that the shops were again built in Bloomington, after the 
citizens had voted $55,000 in bonds to aid in acquiring land for enlarge- 
ment of the plant. The decision in favor of the bonds was practically 
unanimous. The rebuilt shops were much better than the old ones had 
been, and these remained almost unchanged until the next great enlarge- 
ment campaign of 1910, when the citizens subscribed $165,000 to buy 


History of McLean County 235 

ground for additional shops and tracks, and the railroad company spent 
on its part nearly $1,000,000 for erecting modern and strictly up-to-date 

The Western Union Telegraph Company first established its lines into 
Bloomington about the time the Alton Railroad came. This was another 
factor in transforming the village into a city. 

The rebuilding of the Chicago & Alton shops into the modern plant 
which the road possesses was accomplished by the action of the citizens 
of Bloomington in 1910, when by voluntary subscriptions in a campaign 
of 17 days' duration the sum of $165,000 was raised by the citizens, to 
be used in the purchase of additional land on which the Alton officials 
were to expand and rebuild their plant. In April, 1910, the then vice- 
president of the road, George H. Ross, submitted to the Business Men's 
Association of Bloomington a written proposition in which the company 
promised to expend approximately $1,000,000 in improvements and en- 
largements of its works in Bloomington, providing the citizens would 
donate the ground which the enlarged plant would occupy. This proposi- 
tion was taken under advisement by the board of directors of the Business 
Men's Association, and after carefully laying out plans for its public 
campaign, it set the date of May 16 to begin the actual canvass. On the 
day before this date, the newspaper published details of the proposed 
plans, giving Vice-President Ross' proposition verbatim and telling the 
people that it would require the sum of $156,000 to purchase the desired 

Alonzo Dolan was president of the Business Men's Asociation at that 
time, William Schmidt the secretary, and the offices were located in a 
single room on Jefferson Street, the west part of the Illinois Hotel Build- 
ing. Here the headquarters of the campaign was located, and E. B. Cole 
was engaged as a special accountant to keep track of the subscriptions 
as received. The special committee appointed for the Business Men's 
Association to conduct the campaign was composed of Paul F. Beich, Ben- 
jamin F. Harber, Oscar Mandel, Henry Behr, Howard D. Humphreys, 
Edward Holland and Theodore S. Bunn. 

Solicitors, both men and women, were appointed for every precinct in 
the city and a house to house canvass was conducted from May 16 to the 
night of May 31, it being stipulated that the proposition of the Alton 
company must be accepted before June 1st. It was considered that the 

236 History of McLean County 

acceptance of this proposal and the completion of the enlargements would 
forever set at rest any fear that the Alton shops would be removed to 
any other point along its lines. 

The campaign was carried on with increasing intensity from day to 
day, and on the night of May 31, the officers of the Business Men's Asso- 
ciation sent a telegram to Vice-President Ross, stating that his proposi- 
tion was accepted and the money had been raised. The proposals em- 
bodied in the statement of the Alton company were as follows: 

First — Erect a 44-stall roundhouse equipped with the new Sturte- 
vant system. Second — Build new machine shop opposite present one, ex- 
tending east from boiler shop with 20 stalls, increasing capacity of erect- 
ing shop by one-half. Third — Enlarge boiler shops by additions south 
and west which will double the capacity of that department. Fourth — 
Enlarge wheel and axle and freight repair shops. Fifth — Add to size and 
capacity of other shops. Sixth — Enlarge switching yards, shop yards and 
roundhouse yards, rearranging entire shop plant system of tracks. Sev- 
enth — Enlarge main yards, laying third main from Bloomington yards 
through Normal. Eighth — Construct new union station to cost $75,000, 
to be used in upper stories for general offices for operating department. 

It was estimated that the cost of the enlarged shops would be $750,000 ; 
of the necessary subways and viaducts at Chestnut and Seminary Avenue 
would be $75,000; of the new union station $75,000, and of the enlarged 
trackage $50,000, making the whole improvement cost close to $1,000,000. 

It was a scene of rare excitement at the Business Men's Association 
rooms in the evening of May 31, when a final report was expected. Presi- 
dent Alonzo Dolan reported that on the previous day the pledges had to- 
taled $140,000, and about $15,000 had been turned in during the day. 
Then a gift of $2,000 was reported from Miss Susan Loehr, aged 94 years. 
Increases from previous subscribers brought the total to $162,500, and 
there it seemed to stand, until a letter from George P. Davis was read 
pledging another $2,500 additional to his previous gift of $1,500. The 
Davis pledge brought the total subscriptions to the $165,000 point, and 
then a great celebration broke loose. Cheers rang for several minutes, 
and then a round of speechmaking and felicitation was indulged in. 

The money was payable in three years, but a large part of it was 
paid during the summer of 1910. The Business Men's Association at once 
began the work of buying up the many parcels and lots of land which 

History of McLean County 237 

had to be acquired. Secretary William Schmidt carried on this work 
during that summer, and soon had many of the houses removed from the 
land, the titles turned over to the Chicago & Alton Company. Construc- 
tion contracts were awarded in June and for the next year the shops 
site was one of the busiest building places in the state. The Alton car- 
ried out its part of the contract, the new three-story union station and 
general offices being erected on the site of the old. The new roundhouse 
and machine shops were mammoth affairs. A foot subway under Chest- 
nut Street was erected, and a steel and concrete viaduct over Emerson 
Street, instead of at Seminary Avenue as at first proposed. A great new 
concrete and steel viaduct was built over the Alton tracks at Front Street, 
at the south end of the new union station. Finally several years after, 
and not part of the original plan, a subway under the tracks was con- 
structed at Division Street. 

Aside from the Chicago & Alton shops, one of the most important 
factory operations carried on in Bloomington in the eariy days was that 
of Ewing and Flagg, located between Main and East Streets, where the 
Big Four station now stands. Before railroads came to this section, this 
concern, owned by John W. Ewing and William F. Flagg, employed 125 
to 150 men in manufacturing a reaping machine and other kinds of agri- 
cultural implements. The reaper was a forerunner of the famous McCor- 
mick reaper, and in fact it was proved in a lawsuit that the Bloomington 
machine was in part an infringement on McCormick patents. Most of 
the raw materials for this factory, as well as its finished products, were 
carried by team to and from the Illinois River. 

A kindred industry was the plow factory of Lewis Bunn and Abram 
Brokaw, which occupied the lots where the People's Bank now stands. 
These industries made their way in spite of the absence of railroads to 
aid them in marketing their output. If the railroads had come ten years 
earlier, the city might have become a factory town. 

Brick yards were among the earlier industries of the growing city 
of Bloomington. The first one was where the German Lutheran Church 
now stands. Later the famous Heafer brick and tile yards were estab- 
lished in the southeast part of the city and turned out hundreds of thou- 
sands of brick for many years. In addition to the many brick buildings 
erected from 1850 to 1870, the railroads built many of their bridges and 
culverts with brick arches. One such, supporting a span of the Illinois 

238 History of McLean County 

Central road north of Bloomington over Sugar Creek, caved in during a 
flood season in 1858, and dammed the creek. The overflow of the bottom 
lands threatened serious consequences for a time, but the flood finally 
broke through the temporary dam. When the first building of the Nor- 
mal University was under construction, there was a brick yard in opera- 
tion just east, where the Normal Public School now stands. 

Bloomington is credited with having laid the first brick pavement in 
the United States, this being done by Napoleon B. Heafer in 1877, on the 
south and west sides of the public square. Of late years, the brick put 
down in the pavements of Bloomington and Normal all came from other 
places where a better quality of clay for pavement brick existed. 

Tile making as allied to brick making flourished as an industry in 
this city for many years, and the Heafer tile works in Bloomington em- 
ployed many men and shipped hundreds of thousands of feet of drain 
tile. Nearly all the swampy farm lands of McLean County were thus tile 
drained in the period from about 1880 to 1900. 

The making of tile had a large influence on the management of the 
farms of McLean and adjoining counties. There was much wet land in 
the prairie sections and these were thoroughly drained in the era when 
tiling was the principal business of the farmer. It is estimated that hun- 
dreds of miles of tile drains are still in use on the farms of McLean 
County. There were tile factories in several of the other towns of McLean 
County outside of Bloomington, and one of the last of these to continue 
in operation was the Tillbury plant at Towanda. Fenstermaker & Co. 
long operated a factory of this kind at Ellsworth. Pike & Castle ran a 
plant at Chenoa. One of the early tile factories was located at Funk's 
Grove and there was another south of Heyworth along the Illinois Cen- 
tral. The work of tiling added millions of dollars to the values of McLean 
County farm lands. 

The Bloomington Pressed Brick Company was established along in 
the '90's in a plant built alongside the McLean County Coal Mine. It 
used the shale from the coal mine to manufacture into a brand of pressed 
brick which was used both for building purposes and street pavement. 
The plant flourished for many years, but gradually other kinds of brick 
made in other cities got the edge of them and the use of the Bloomington 
pressed brick fell off. The plant was finally disposed of and the company 
went out of business. 

History of McLean County 

11 239 

«« tntJZ^ZT^Z IT T nditure of tho « ° f «■ 

future prosperity of the city. The first ™ countln « for much in the 
near the present city water works butt T' ^ Started in 1867 

the trouble with water The ZT" M * fa, ' Im ' e on acc ount of 

was organized ^L^LT^^t^ ^ °^ 
sunk near the Chicago & Alton depot and hi, T^' A Shaft was 
operation since that time. For many 2, ' > ? haS bee " in ^nunl 
300 miners, but of later years owL t 1 " emP ' 0yed betwee " 2 °<> and 
ther south with deeper veins of ZT s ° Pemng ° f man * min ^ fur- 
ton mine had m£Z^?^«S^**-*» 
large part of the supplies of coal used » ^ '* fu ™>'shed a 

in, the World War served as a 1 esavL toT^ " "^ ^ dur " 
was hard to obtain from distant nZ ™ commu nity when coal 

somewhere near 100 men employed Z t„ W (1923) there "ore 

served as manager of the mme for many mme ' LyMan M ' Graham ' wh « 
agement during 1922. y yearS> gave U P the active man- 

For many years there was in operation in ri • 
mg plant, located on South East Sw? * Bloomin «ton a pork pack- 
road. I„ the days of its prime h ^ 1 IT T* ° f the Big F °" Rail- 
hogs every day of the weT and if. \ T" " nd PaCked hund -ds of 
amounted to hundreds of thousand o/do^a "■ ^ T^ ° f the year 
were later taken over by Campbel HoLn & Co'" tl ", ^ ^^ 
who now occupy them with several enlarge^nte * 6Sa ' e « WC "™' 

stove ll«T Z y ZZ^TstTT^ has had one « -»- 

along the Alton road «S7^ZSTa^T' ^^ buiMin *' 
a big manufacturing business. A fire Ld nth f """ *~" a " d did 
to finally close down. On the east side 1 ! '° SSeS CaUSed the Plant 
long located the Co-onerative%7 n C ' ty ' at Empire Str ^ was 

Hayes Stove Company ""^ faCt ° ry ' " 0W the Hamilton! 

-unty, when the Kocke brotht ^^ f^ ^ 

240 History of McLean County 

grain elevators at the town of Meadows, east of Lexington. This grew 
until it was too large for the community of its birth, and it was removed 
to Pontiac, where a large factory building was erected and where it con- 
tinued to expand for several years. Then its Pontiac quarters having 
been outgrown, a proposal to locate the plant in Bloomington was taken 
up by the Association of Commerce, with the result that a tract of land 
in the southeast part of the city was acquired and deeded to the com- 
pany in consideration of locating the plant here. The company was re- 
organized* with increased capital and erected on the land buildings cost- 
ing upward of $300,000. In 1923, owing to after-war conditions, the 
company went through a process of re-capitalization, and is now on a 
substantial basis and doing a very large business in manufacturing wash- 
ing machines, grain elevators and other articles of general use. The com- 
pany employs a large number of skilled mechanics and other workmen. 

A district east of the Illinois Central Railroad in Bloomington devel- 
oped into an important territory of the city in an industrial way. The 
American Foundry and Furnace Company, established 30 years ago as 
the Soper Foundry, has become a well-established business of wide client- 
age. It was founded by Horace W. and Clinton P. Soper and was carried 
on by the second generation of Clinton Soper's family. Leroy G. Whit- 
mer is the president of the company, Horace A. Soper is the vice-presi- 
dent, and Guy Haley is secretary. The plant occupies a half block of 
buildings, and employs 100 men or more. 

The other industrial plant in the same vicinity is that of the Portable 
Elevator Company, which has grown from small beginnings for the past 
twenty-five years, having taken over the factory formerly occupied by 
the W. R. White Gate Company. The Portable makes grain elevators and 
kindred products and has patronage extending from one end of the coun- 
try to the other. G. Burt Read is president of the company; W. S. Har- 
wood vice-president, and L. G. Whitmer secretary. 

Further north along the Illinois Central Railroad are located the 
plants of the Dodge-Dickinson Company, makers of mattresses and kin- 
dred products ; the Hayes-Hamilton Stove Company, and the Davis Ewing 
Concrete Company, all doing a large business. 

The Paul F. Beich Company, owners and operators of a very large 
candy-making plant in Bloomington, is one of the well-established and 
best-known industries of McLean County. Mr. Beich, the founder, began 

B:*.«j»j*s» J a.ffi 3 aj a | 


History of McLean County 241 

operations in a small way when he was a young man, in a room on Front 
Street. Later he acquired the Lancaster Caramel Company, which occu- 
pied the building near the Alton station which had been originally built 
for a buggy factory. Eventually Mr. Beich gained control of the whole 
company and its plant, and the Paul F. Beich Co. was incorporated. Sev- 
eral additions to the building have been made in the last fifteen years, 
the last of which was erected in 1923. The company manufactures a 
great variety of candies, and its sales cover the whole country and many 
foreign countries. The same concern operates a factory in Chicago, but 
the main offices are in Bloomington. The factory here employs scores of 
people, many of them young women. The officers are: Paul F. Beich, 
president; Frank E. Sweeting, vice-president; Ernest H. Black, secretary. 

The MaGirl Foundry and Furnace Works, located on East Oakland 
Avenue, has been in operation for many years successfully manufactur- 
ing a line of furnaces and other similar products. It was founded by Pat- 
rick H. MaGirl now deceased. The manager at present is James D. MaGirl. 

The Bloomington Canning Company is one of the important indus- 
trial plants of the county. Its plant is located inside the corporate limits 
of Normal, just north of Division Street. It has been in operation for 
about twenty-five years, and. each season it gathers and packs hundreds 
of thousands of cases of sweet corn which is grown on its own leased farm 
lands or bought from farmers with whom contracts are made at the be- 
ginning of each season. The active canning season is carried on for only 
about six or eight weeks beginning about the middle of August and run- 
ning into late September each year. While packing is in progress, the 
factory employs several scores of people in the various operations. A 
smaller force of employes are in the plant the year round for the pur- 
pose of boxing and shipping out the product as ordered. The sales of the 
goods from this factory cover nearly every part of the country. The 
company was owned and managed for several years by Peter Whitmer, 
R. F. Evans, William L. Evans and J. 0. Willson, all now deceased. The 
present officers of the company are: Ira S. Whitmer, president; Leroy 
G. Whitmer, vice-president; Charles D. Myers, secretary. 

For the past 20 years Bloomington has been known as an important 
point for jobbing interests. This has been especially true in the line of 
wholesale grocery establishments, of which there are three larger ones. 


242 History of McLean County 

Each of these handles hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of groceries 
in a year, having large establishments. 

J. F. Humphreys & Co. for many years occupied a building at Grove 
and East, but lately bought the large warehouse on South Main, formerly 
used by the Illinois Moline Plow Co. The officers are : Howard Humphreys, 
president; R. O. Ahlenius, vice-president; Rogers Humphreys, secretary- 

The Campbell Holton Company, wholesale grocers, have a large ware- 
house and shipping plant on South Gridley Street, formerly the plant of 
the Continental Packing Company. It has been remodeled and enlarged 
for the use of the Holton Company and is a modern plant in every way. 
The officers of the company are: Campbell Holton, president; H. W. 
Kelly, vice-president; C. A. Stephenson, secretary; E. M. Evans treasurer. 

The Cumming Wholesale Grocery Company occupies the building on 
South Center which is a part of the Johnson Transfer Co. plant. It was 
formerly known as Hawks, Incorporated, having been founded by E. B. 
Hawks and his associates and transferred last year to the present corpo- 
ration. The officers are W. H. Cumming, president and treasurer ; Egbert 
B. Hawk, vice-president; L. W. Bosworth, secretary; directors, W. H. 
Cumming, Charles F. Scholer, E. B. Hawk, L. W. Bosworth and Charles 
F. J. Agle. 

In years gone by, the nurseries of the county formed an important 
factor in its business. They were located mostly in the vicinity of Normal, 
where the era prior to the Civil War several very large nurseries, they 
being among the largest in the central west, in fact. They were the Over- 
man nurseries, the Mann nurseries, the Phoenix nursery, the Augustine 
nurseries, and Home nursery, the Corn Belt, and several others. Changes 
have taken place in that business as in all others in the last generation, 
but the nursery business still forms an important part of the general 
business and industrial activities of the county. The last city directory 
of Bloomington and Normal indicated that there are eight nurseries now 
doing business here, some of them of many years' establishment, and 
others having come upon the field of comparatively recent date. 

The manufacturing and industrial interests of Bloomington and Mc- 
Lean County include very many smaller plants both in the county seat, 
at Normal and in several towns of the county. The products of these 
plants are widely distributed, and the money coming in from them forms 
one of the factors of the prosperity of the county and its people. 




McLean County has four steam railroads passing through its county 
seat, and there are two other steam roads crossing the county, one along 
the northern edge, the other across the southeast corner. The oldest 
of these roads in point of first being projected, is the Illinois Central, 
which was part of the great scheme of internal improvements which the 
state legislature voted in 1837. The road was to be built from Galena to 
Cairo, but its exact route across the state was uncertain. The state voted 
its credit to the Central road to the extent of $3,500,000. The building of 
the road was started, when the financial catastrophe of 1841 occurred, and 
its further construction was delayed ten years. On Sept. 30, 1850, a law 
passed congress donating to the State of Illinois for the use of the Cen- 
tral railroad nearly 2,500,000 acres of public land, the state to dictate the 
terms on which the land was to be granted. The state in turn required 
by law that the Central road should pay to the state treasury 7 per cent 
of its gross receipts. This payment grew as years went on until it reached 
$1,000,000 per year. Afterward many of the counties, including Mc- 
Lean, complained that part of this money received from the Illinois Cen- 
tral, should go into the county treasuries of the counties through which 
the road was built. When the line was to be laid out for the construc- 
tion of the road, General Gridley was in the Legislature, and he tried to 


244 History of McLean County 

get it routed through Decatur, Clinton and Bloomington, three county 
seats within his district. Owing to much rivalry for the route, it seemed 
that his purpose might be defeated, but he secured its final routing to 
pass within five miles east of the corner of town 21 north range on 1 east. 
This point is two and a half miles east of Heyworth, which would have 
routed the road eight miles east of Bloomington. General Gridley's pur- 
pose was accomplished, for when the building of the road was begun it 
was seen that it must be constructed through Decatur, Clinton and Bloom- 
ington. The first part of the line was built from the north, and a train 
was run down from LaSalle to Bloomington on May 3, 1853. The panic 
of 1857 came soon after the building of the road this far, and the further 
development of the line was much retarded. 

The east and west steam roads running through Bloomington had 
checkered careers in getting started. The line known as the Big Four 
of recent years, and later as the New York Central, from Peoria to Dan- 
ville, was first projected in 1837 as part of the great internal improve- 
ment scheme mentioned in connection with the Illinois Central. The road 
had been graded from Pekin to Mackinaw when the hard times of 1841 
came. This retarded the completion of the road for more than ten years, 
in j 857 a vote was taken on the proposition of Bloomington Township 
voting bonds of $100,000 to assist in financing this road, but by a vote 
of 1,570 to 1,166 it was defeated. The project lay dormant until about 
1866, when it was revived. The following year Bloomington Township 
did vote the $100,000 bonds for this enterprise, while Empire Township 
also bonded itself for $75,000 to aid the road, and West Township gave 
$20,000 in a similar way. The line was completed from Pekin to Bloom- 
ington on May 31, 1870. It later became known as the Indianapolis, 
Eioomington & Western, then the Peoria & Eastern, and finally the Big 
Four and now the New York Central. 

Early in the '50's there was a project for building the Peoria, Bloom- 
ington & Lafayette Railroad, which, however, did not get much of a start. 
It was revived in 1867 under the name of the Lafayette, Bloomington & 
Mississippi, to be built first from Bloomington to Lafayette, Ind., and 
eventually completed west to Peoria. On June 3, 1867, Bloomington 
Township voted $100,000 in bonds to aid this road, McLean County also 
subscribed for $20,000 of bonds, and various townships along its route 
voted aid as follows: Padua, $30,000; Arrowsmith, $30,000; Cheney's 

History of McLean County 245 

Grove, $50,000; village of Saybrook, $10,000. The road was completed 
from Lafayette to Bloomington in 1872, and it was completed west to 
Peoria in 1885. The name changed several times, being known as the 
Lake Erie & Western, and now as the Nickel Plate. The state constitu- 
tion of 1870 prevented any county or municipality issuing bonds to aid 
a railroad, hence after that year no railroad bonds were voted. 

In point of its future effect upon, the prosperity of Bloomington and 
of McLean County in general, the most important railroad built into the 
city and county was what is now known as the Chicago & Alton, but which 
in its earlier stages was known as the Alton & Sangamon road. This 
road, connecting the great cities of Chicago and St. Louis, with Bloom- 
ington its principal division terminal, was built in sections under at least 
five different charters granted by the State of Illinois. When it came 
into McLean County it arrived rather quietly, and with no flourish of 
trumpets as had the Illinois Central road. The Central had been under 
discussion in the State of Illinois since 1836, and its extension south 
from LaSalle in 1853 brought to Bloomington its greatest crowd of peo- 
ple known up to that time when the first train reached the city. On Feb. 
6, 1851, General Gridley, then a member of the State Senate, wrote a 
letter to the Western Intelligencer, published at Bloomington, in which 
he exulted over the passage by the Legislature of the bill chartering the 
Illinois Central Railroad, and added: "I am also of the opinion that the 
bill extending the charter of the Alton & Sangamon Railroad Company 
to Bloomington will pass the house and become a law; in which event I 
am assured by the agent of the company that the road will be constructed 
and completed in two years." 

The bill did pass the Legislature, surveys were made, the contracts 
let for building the road north to Bloomington, and on Oct. 16, 1853, the 
first trains were run from the south into Bloomington. For several months 
the trains from the south connected with the Illinois Central at Blooming- 
ton Junction (Normal), thence over the Central via LaSalle to Chicago. 
At that time the road advertised to take passengers to New York via 
Chicago "in only sixty hours." 

As the road reached Bloomington in the late fall, it was impossible 
to finish the line north until the following summer. The building started 
north from Bloomington and was finished so that an excursion train was 
run down from Lexington on July 4, 1854. The Joliet & Chicago road had 

246 History of McLean County 

been previously constructed, so that when the extension north from 
Bloomington to Chicago was made, the line was completed from St. Louis 
to Chicago. The Illinois Central depot was located at the eastern edge 
of town, and the leaders of that day, Jesse Fell and others, thought it 
best to locate the Chicago & Alton depot on the western edge, thinking 
the town would spread out between the two. Jesse Fell, David Davis, 
General Gridley and others secured, donations of land and other gifts to 
secure for Bloomington the location of the repair shops of the new road, 
thus laying the foundations of what proved to be the city's chief indus- 
trial enterprise. The shops in turn gave rise to the idea of building from 
Bloomington the new division to Jacksonville in 1867, for which Bloom- 
ington Township and city of Bloomington voted bonds of $75,000. If this 
aid had not been given, the Jacksonville line would have been built north 
from Delavan to Washington. 

The small shops of the C. & A. erected in 1853-54 were burned down 
in 1867, and it required a strong effort on the part of citizens to secure 
consent to rebuild here, for Chicago, Springfield and Joliet were all seek- 
ing the location. The fact that the road had three divisions centering 
here was one of the main arguments in favor of Bloomington. 

As an indication of the growth and developments of the railroads and 
their holdings in McLean County, the figures of the assessed valuation 
of railorad property in the county for the year 1923 may be cited. There 
are in this county for the year 1923 a total of 218 miles of steam rail- 
way lines, the total property value of which as assessed by the state tax 
commission was $4,144,542, while the total assessed valuation was $2,589,- 
677. It is well known that the assessed valuation is one-half of the real 
valuation, and even at that the figures are always very low. Railroads of 
the county, the number of miles of each and the total amount of prop- 
erty as assessed by the state tax commission for the year 1923 were as 
follows : 

Chicago & Alton — Forty-two miles; assessed valuation, $849,712; 
property values, $1,807,620. Bloomington & Jacksonville (branch of Chi- 
cago & Alton), 14 miles; assessed valuation $198,729; property values, 

Chicago and Springfield division of the Illinois Central — Ten miles; 
assessed valuation, $136,383; property values, $201,600. 

History of McLean County 247 

Kankakee and Southwestern division of Illinois Central — Twenty- 
nine miles; assessed valuation, $233,864; property values, $275,551. 

Main line Illinois Central — One mile; property values, $953. 

Rantoul division Illinois Central — Seventeen miles; assessed valua- 
tion, $136,067; property values, $164,316. 

Lake Erie & Western — Forty-two miles; assessed valuation, $421,900; 
property values, $543,181. 

Peoria & Eastern — Thirty-seven miles; assessed valuation, $371,442; 
property values, $529,805. 

Toledo, Peoria & Western — Twenty-one miles; assessed valuation, 
$211,394; property values, $278,472. 

Wabash, C. & P. — Two miles; assessed valuation, $30,197; property 
values, $46,873. 

Bloomington, Decatur & Champaign Electric Railroad — Thirteen 
miles; assessed valuation, $78,558; property values, $93,989. 

St. Louis, Springfield & Peoria Electric Railroad — Sixteen miles; as- 
sessed valuation, $101,033; property values, $128,922. 

The two electric railroads last mentioned are parts of the Illinois 
Traction System, whose total mileage in this county is 30 miles, and total 
assessed valuation $179,591 ; total property values, $223,285. 

The first use of a telegraph line into Bloomington or McLean 
County took place on January 28, 1854. The line was from Springfield to 
Bloomington, which was constructed after citizens of Bloomington had 
subscribed $1,000 as a bonus to the Western Union Telegraph Company 
for such a line. In August, 1853, John Caton, pioneer of the Western 
Union, came to Bloomington and told General Gridley that if the citizens 
would take- $1,000 of stock his company would give the city an office on the 
line from Springfield to Chicago. The purse of $1,000 was made up, mostly 
in subscriptions of $50 each, and the poles were soon set and wires strung. 
The first message, sent on January 28, from Springfield to the editor of 
the Pantagraph, as follows: 

"C. P. Merriman: May the new communication by telegraph, so aus- 
piciously opened, continue for ages. Signed, S. Francis." 

Matthew L. Steele was the first operator, who served till 1866, when 
Arthur T. McElhiney succeeded him and filled the position for 25 years. 

248 History of McLean County 

The telegraph companies in Bloomington have kept pace with modern 
facilities and improvements in other lines. The Western Union now has 
a large and handsomely equipped office located at 210 West Washington 

The Postal Telegraph Company established an office in Bloomington 
some 20 years' ago and have since maintained it. 




Banks and banking- institutions as we know them now did not exist 
in the earlier years of McLean County. In fact, for many years after 
the white settlers began to take up land in this section of Illinois, they 
could buy the land from the government at $1.25 per acre, but they were 
unable to secure funds with which to buy the necessary implements and 
stock for the proper conduct of their farms. The first recorded loans of 
money made in this county were those in the year 1829, when Dr. Peebles 
seemed to be the principal man engaged in any kind of money loaning 
business. In the period just preceding 1836, there was a large influx of 
population into this county, and money became more plentiful, due to 
speculative buying and selling of lands and town lots. Then came the 
panic of 1837, and money went flat again, for everybody was hard up. 
Governor Ford, in his message of 1843, told the Legislature that he did 
not believe there was over $400,000 of money in circulation in the whole 
state of Illinois. 

For the ten-year period prior to the Civil War there were three banks 
in Bloomington, operating under the state banking law, but none in any 
other town of the county. When the Civil War came on, banks holding 
bonds of the southern states found them very greatly depreciated and 
some banks caught with many southern bonds had to go out of business. 
One such bank was the Lafayette Bank of Bloomington. Gridley's bank, 


250 History of McLean County 

started in 1853, found its notes subject to great discounts. The prede- 
cessor of the First National Bank had declined to use southern bonds as 
the basis of its issues, hence it got over the crisis and reorganized in 1862 
as the First National Bank. It then began to operate under the national 
banking laws instead of the state. Peoria, Springfield, Chicago and In- 
dianapolis banks in those days supplied most of the money needed by 
farmers for buying cattle and other farm operations. The interest charges 
were very high, being 2 per cent per month as the minimum. 

Another era of hard times in 1873 resulted in the failure of the Home 
Bank of Bloomington, run by McClun, Holder & Co. The First National 
Bank, which had been organized on a 'permanent basis in 1865, remained 
as solid as a rock and pursued a careful and judicious policy. 

The number of banks grew rapidly in the 20 years from 1875 until 
1895, and at the close of the period there was one or more banks in nearly 
every important town in the county. Many of these were private banks, 
but when a law was passed about 1911 that all private banks must organ- 
ize under state or federal direction, then some of the smaller banks went 
out of business. At one time in Bloomington, about 1905, there were 
seven banks in operation. Then consolidations took place, and the num- 
ber of banks in Bloomington now (1923) is five. The Corn Belt Bank, 
the McLean County Bank and the American State Bank were the younger 
of the institutions, but they have outlived some of the older banks. The 
Third National was first absorbed by the First National. Then the State 
National and the State Trust and Savings were combined with the First 
National Bank and the building of the latter was remodeled to accommo- 
date the larger institution. The American State bought the Metropole 
Hotel Building in 1923 and made it into a first-class banking house. The 
Corn Belt remodeled its entire interior. The People's Bank erected in 
1902 a seven-story bank building, the only seven-story structure in the 
downtown district. 

In towns outside of Bloomington many of the banks own their own 
homes, and occupy up-to-date quarters. The following is a list of the 
banks in McLean County, with the year of their organization and their 
present officers: 

Anchor State Bank, founded 1895, president, Jacob Martens; vice- 
president, J. H. Nafsizer; cashier, H. B. Ulmer. 

History of McLean County 251 

Arrowsmith State Bank, founded 1893 ; president, J. H. Jacobs ; vice- 
presidents, G. F. Lester and G. A. Builta; cashier, Raymond Webber. 

Bellflower Exchange Bank; founded 1906; president, J. E. Smith; 
vice-president, H. F. Helmick; cashier, Helen Helmick. 

Bellflower State Bank, founded 1892 ; president, A. F. Gooch ; vice- 
president, D. R. Gooch, Jr. ; cashier, A. G. Gooch. 

Corn Belt Bank, Bloomington, founded 1892 ; president, John J. Pitts ; 
vice-president, 0. P. Skaggs; cashier, C. J. Mover. 

American State Bank, Bloomington; founded 1902; president, Albert 
Wochner; vice-president, Frank Oberkoetter; cashier, Adolph Wochner. 

First National Bank, Bloomington ; founded 1865 ; C. W. Robinson, 
chairmon of board ; Wilber M. Carter, president ; H. K. Hoblit, H. W. Hall, 
J. J. Condon, vice-presidents; Frank M. Rice, cashier. 

First Trust and Savings Bank, Bloomington; president, Wilber M. 
Carter; vice-presidents, H. K. Hoblit and W. J. Carter; cashier, Leonne 

Liberty State Bank, Bloomington; founded 1920; president, John W. 
Rodgers; vice-presidents, E. E. Fincham and Phil Wood; cashier, P. A. 

McLean County Bank, Bloomington; founded 1903; president, Lee 
Rust; vice-presidents, R. R. Johnson, Howard H. Rust; cashiers, W. L. 
Rust, J. P. Arnett. 

People's Bank, Bloomington; founded 1869; president, W. L. Moore; 
president of board, F. D. Marquis ; vice-president, L. H. Weldon. 

Farmers State Bank, Carlock; founded 1899; president, J. E. O'Hara; 
vice-president, S. E. Maurer; cashier, H. B. Carlock. 

Farmers Bank, Chenoa ; founded 1884 ; president, J. S. Kelly ; vice- 
president, Maurice Monroe; cashier, C. H. Merriott. 

State Bank of Chenoa, founded 1892; president, A. D. Jordan; cashier, 
L. L. Silliman. 

Farmers State Bank, Colfax; founded 1903; president, Charles At- 
kinson ; vice-president, Joseph Martin, Sr. ; cashier, Edna M. Atkinson. 

Citizens State Bank, Cropsey ; president, E. T. Lange ; vice-presidents, 
S. E. Thomas, John Brucker; cashier, G. M. Meeker. 

Cropsey State Bank; founded 1892; president, M. B. Meeker; vice- 
president, H. C. Cantle; cashier, J. H. Barnes. 

252 History of McLean County 

State Bank of Cooksville; founded 1892; president, N. L. Elbert; vice- 
president, Wesley Woodard; cashier, Edward Weidner. 

Farmer State Bank, Danvers; president, J. C. Nafziger; vice-presi- 
dent, W. Miller; cashier, W. D. Kitchell. 

First National Bank, Danvers ; founded 1903 ; president, C. R. Ewins ; 
vice-president, Peter Risser; cashier, Lyle Stuckey. 

Farmers State Bank, Downs; founded 1901; president, J. R. Carlisle; 
vice-president, W. M. Buckles; cashier, E. B. Lanier. 

Bank of Ellsworth, founded 1891; president, C. A. Shinkle; vice-presi- 
dent, Tobey Bane; cashier, C. C. Kreitzer. 

State Bank of Gridley; founded 1891; president, W. D. Castle; vice- 
president, J. R. Heiple; cashier, J. R. Heiple. 

Farmers State Bank, Hey worth, founded 1906; president, C. H. 
Russum; vice-president, Albert Fulton; cashier, J. T. Buck. 

Heyworth State Bank; founded 1891; president, J. P. Shelton; vice- 
president, F. L. Wakefield; cashier, L. T. Rutledge. 

Bank of Holder, Holder; founded 1905; president, H. M. Murray; vice- 
president, S. Evans; cashier, F. W. Boston. 

Hudson State Bank; founded 1900; president, J. F. Shepard; vice- 
president, William Humphries; cashier, R. A. Ensign. 

First National Bank, Leroy; founded 1903; president, H. H. Crum- 
baugh; vice-presidents, G. E. Dooley and J. W. Weidner; cashier, R. E. 

1924 Leroy State Bank; W. F. Crumbaugh, president; vice-president 
and cashier, J. Keenan. 

People's Bank, Lexington; founded 1900; president, J. J. Kemp; 
vice-president, R. T. Claggett; cashier, L. B. Strayer. 

State Bank of Lexington; founded 1895; president, Noah Franklin; 
vice-president, N. E. Franklin; cashier, O. L. Hiser. 

McLean State Bank, McLean; founded 1860; president, Frank W. 
Aldrich; vice-presidents, H. M. Palmer, S. B. VanNewss; cashier, J. W. 

First National Bank, Normal; founded 1893; president, D. G. Fitz- 
gerrell; vice-president, D. C. Smith; cashier, W. H. Odell. 

Normal State Bank ; president, E. E. Finsham ; vice-president, Thomas 
Sylvester; cashier, J. F. Shepard. 

History of McLean County 253 

Saybrook Bank, Saybrook; founded 1878; president, C. A. Schure- 
man; vice-president, Robert Means; cashier, R. R. Cheney. 

Saybrook State Bank; president, F. B. Youle; vice-president, Jacob 
Froehlich; cashier, C. 0. Parvin. 

Stanford State Bank; founded 1891; president, W. H. Springer; vice- 
president, F. W. Schulz; cashier, Frank L. Garst. 

The total deposits of the banks in McLean County will reach the large 
figure of over $21,000,000. When we consider that a few years ago prac- 
tically all the money that was loaned in this vicinity came from banking 
institutions in the east, the fact of the great sums on deposit now belong- 
ing to our own people, which is used in turn for the promotion of business 
and farming enterprises within the county, it can be seen that the popu- 
lation of the county is now on a self-sustaining basis such as might have 
been not dreamed of in the former times. In the old days, the banks of 
the city and county depended upon voluntary deposits for the funds with 
which to operate, outside of their own capital. In the last two decades, 
however, a decided change of policy has come over the banks, and they 
now advertise in the columns of the newspapers much the same as other 
commercial enterprises. There is one difference, however: the banks urge 
and teach thrift, the virtue of saving, in order that each customer increase 
his balance and therefore his own independence. In this way, the increase 
of bank deposits tends to increase the general welfare and stability of the 
whole community. 




Special distinction attaches to the organization of the McLean County 
bar, for its membership has included scores of men who attained local, 
state or national eminence in their profession, or in its ally, statesman- 
ship. The bar of the county as a whole has always borne a reputation for 
high ideals of professional action. 

In the realm of public affairs, the bar of McLean County has given to 
the state and nation a vice-president, a president of the U. S. Senate pro 
tern, a United States Senator, a justice of the Supreme Court, a United 
States minister plenipotentiary, a member of the interstate commerce 
commission, an assistant postmaster-general, seven members of Congress, 
a judge of the United States court of claims, a federal district judge, two 
governors of Illinois, a secretary of state of Illinois, a judge and two 
reporters of the Supreme Court of Illinois, a chairman of the State Board 
of Pardons, two state railroad and warehouse commissioners, a peniten- 
tiary commissioner and many men who attained exalted military rank in 
the service of their country. 

The bar of this county included graduates from many of the prin- 
cipal universities and law schools of the United States, including Har- 
vard, Michigan, and Chicago and Illinoiss Universities. The Bloomington 
Law School, an adjunct of the Wesleyan University, has turned out many 
able and well-qualified attorneys of late years. 


History of McLean County 255 

A large and comprehensive law library is maintained by the bar asso- 
ciation, with a large room in the court house set aside for its accommo- 
dation. In the great fire of June 19, 1900, this library was practically a 
total loss, the monetary damage being placed at $40,000. Nevertheless, 
it was reorganized and incorporated and a new stock of law books pur- 
chased. Its shelves are now a treasure house of legal citations, and are 
much consulted by the members of the bar. 

No summary of the history of the bar of McLean County could claim 
to be complete without having mentioned the fact that Abraham Lincoln, 
the great American President and martyr, once practiced in the courts of 
this county, as well as those of the other counties of the old Eighth Judi- 
cial Circuit. Long before Lincoln was known to national fame, he rode 
the circuit with David Davis, Lawrence Weldon, Leonard Swett, and other 
lawyers of that day, going from county seat to county seat as the terms 
of court were held. He used to put up at the hotels or taverns of the 
town at that time and was a welcome companion in many a social circle 
in the interims of court. The home of Mrs. Judith Bradner, which long 
stood at the corner of Jefferson and West Streets, had entertained him on 
several occasions of a social nature, and Mrs. Bradner during her later 
life used to relate circumstances of his actions and appearance in those 
years. The late Stephen Smith, a well-known merchant of Bloomington, 
just after the Civil War, was an intimate friend of Lincoln, and Mrs. Smith 
traveled on the train with him when he went to Washington to be inaugu- 
rated. Letitia Green Stevenson Chapter of the D. A. R. erected, in 1922, 
a granite marker with a bronze tablet upon it in the court house yard in 
Bloomington to commemorate the fact that Abraham Lincoln often trav- 
eled this way on his professional journeys as a lawyer. 

The highest national office to which any citizen of McLean County 
was elected was that of vice-president of the United States, which was 
filled from 1893 to 1897, inclusive, by Adlai Ewing Stevenson. Mr. Steven- 
son also occupied several other offices of importance, both elective and 
appointive, during his long and honorable career at the bar of his adopted 
city and state. Mr. Stevenson was born in Christian County, Kentucky, 
Oct. 23, 1835, the son of John T. and Eliza (Ewing) Stevenson, and re- 
moved with his parents to Bloomington in 1852. He attended Wesleyan 
University and also Centre College, in Kentucky, studied law and was 
admitted to the bar in Illinois in 1858, locating for practice first at Meta- 

256 History of McLean County 

mora, Woodford County. For ten years he continued at this place, occu- 
pied in succession the positions of master in chancery and state's attor- 
ney. In 1868 he returned to Bloomington, and for many years was in 
partnership in law practice with James S. Ewing, his cousin, whom after- 
ward he had appointed U. S. minister to Belgium. In 1864, Mr. Steven- 
son had been candidate for presidential elector on the Democratic ticket, 
and was delegate to his party's national conventions in 1884 and 1892, 
serving as chairman of the Illinois delegation in the latter year. He was 
elected to congress two terms, serving with distinction, from 1875 to 
1877 and from 1879 to 1881. In 1877 he was appointed by President 
Hayes as a member of the board of visitors for West Point. Under the 
first administration of President Cleveland, Mr. Stevenson was appointed 
first assistant postmaster general, serving from 1885 to 1889. In 1892 
he was nominated by the Democratic convention for vice-president, being 
elected with Cleveland in the latter's second term. He served with great 
distinction for the four years, and on his retirement was presented with 
a very handsome silver service by members of the Senate for his unfail- 
ing courtesy and fairness in presiding over the deliberations of that body. 
In 1897 Mr. Stevenson was appointed by President McKinley as mem- 
ber of the bi-metalic monetary conference, authorized by act of Congress, 
and he attended the sessions of the conference held in England, France, 
Italy and Belgium. In 1900 Mr. Stevenson was again nominated for vice- 
president, this time on the ticket headed by William Jennings Bryan, 
but the election in November failed to give the ticket a majority, and Mr. 
Stevenson again resumed his law practice in his home city. Shortly after 
this he wrote a book entitled, "Some of the Men That I Have Known," a 
very readable and popular publication of personal reminiscences. In 
1908, Mr. Stevenson was nominated on the Democratic ticket for governor, 
opposed to Gov. Charles S. Deneen. He ran nearly 200,000 ahead of his 
ticket and came within a few thousand votes of being elected on the face 
of the returns. In fact, his friends always contended that he was elected, 
but they were unable to secure a recount from a Republican assembly. 

Mr. Stevenson was married to Miss Letitia Green at Chenoa on Dec. 
20, 1866. They were the parents of four children: Lewis, Mary (now 
deceased), Julia and Letitia. Mr. Stevenson was prominent in many 
Bloomington business enterprises, being president of the McLean County 
Coal Company for 20 years, director of the People's Bank, and interested 






History of McLean County 257 

in other commercial matters. Mr. Stevenson died on June 14, 1914, and 
his wife preceded him on Dec. 25, 1913. The son, Lewis G. Stevenson, 
served as Secretary of State of Illinois, 1914-16. Julia Stevenson became 
Mrs. Martin D. Hardin, wife of Rev. Mr. Hardin, now of Ithaca, N. Y. 

Mr. Stevenson lived his later years quietly at his home in Blooming- 
ton, honored, respected and beloved by the whole community and a large 
circle of friends elsewhere to whom he had endeared himself during his 
long life of kindness and good deeds. He stood out as the most distin- 
guished citizen of Bloomington and McLean County, and lived long to 
enjoy his merited honors. As an evidence of his high standing in the 
community, there was placed in the art room at the public library in 
Bloomington soon after his death a life-sized portrait of him by a fa- 
mous artist. This picture was secured by a popular subscription, to which 
people in all walks of life contributed. It remains as a lasting community 
memorial to Mr. Stevenson. 

Three generations of the David Davis family have had much to do 
with the settlement and upbuilding of McLean County. The first two 
generations have passed away, and now the third generation is in the 
active years of life, while the fourth generation is represented by young 
people just coming onto the stage of action. 

David Davis, the elder, was born in Cecil County, Md., on March 9, 
1815. He was educated at Kenyon College, at Gambier, Ohio, then a noted 
school, where some of his college mates were Edwin M. Stanton, Stanley 
Matthews, Rutherford B. Hayes, Henry Winter Davis and others who 
afterward gained fame in public life. Graduating from college in 1832, 
young Davis studied law at Lenox, Mass., with Judge Bishop and then at 
the New Haven law school. In the fall of 1835 he came west, locating at 
Pekin, and then after one year removing to Bloomington. He succeeded 
to the law business of Jesse W. Fell, who was beginning to give his whole 
time to real estate transactions. On Oct. 30, 1838, Judge Davis married 
Sarah Walker, daughter of Judge Walker, at Lenox, Mass. In 1840, 
Judge Davis was Whig candidate for state senator against Governor 
Moore, but the latter succeeded. In 1844 he was elected to the lower 
house of the Legislature, serving one term and declining re-election. In 
1847 he was chosen delegate to the constitutional convention and helped 
frame the new basic law which was adopted by the people. In 1848 he 
was elected without opposition as judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, 


258 History of McLean County 

embracing fourteen counties. Judge Davis was a model of the upright 
jurist, being prone to administer the equity of the case in all instances. 
He was just, considerate and deeply learned in the law. In the Eighth 
Judicial Circuit at that time were some of the most distinguished lawyers 
and judges of the Illinois bar of those times. Judge Logan was the leader 
of the bar, and among the other distinguished names were Abraham Lin- 
coln, Stuart, Baker, Linder, Gridley, Judge 0. L. Davis, Judge Thornton, 
0. B. Ficklin, Judge Emerson, C. H. Moore, Judge Benedict, Judge Parks, 
Judge Edwards and others. Lincoln and Judge Davis were very often 
companions as they rode from county to county of the circuit. 

Naturally this close association between these men led Judge Davis 
to come to the front at an early date and propose the name of Abraham 
Lincoln for president of the United States. After "Lincoln's nomination 
and election, Jesse W. Fell, who had been credited with having first pro- 
posed Lincoln, wrote a letter, in which he said: "To Judge Davis, more 
than any other man, living or dead, is the American people indebted for 
this extraordinary piece of good fortune, the nomination and election of 
that man who combined in his person in so high a degree the elements 
necessary for a successful administration of the government through the 
late most critical period of our national history." 

In 1862, Judge Davis was appointed by President Lincoln as one of 
the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. This 
appointment was made without solicitation on the part of Judge Davis. 
This gave him a wider field for his eminent legal talent, and his work on 
the bench here included some decisions which attracted more attention 
than any others since the time of Justice Taney. He laid down funda- 
mental principles of constitutional law which served as landmarks if. 
many years. 

Judge Davis resigned his high judicial position in 1877 to become 
United States Senator from Illinois in succession to John A. Logan after 
the latter's first term. Senator Davis served in that position with sucl 
distinction that on Oct. 13, 1881, he was elected president pro tern of thi 
senate, after Vice-President Chester A. Arthur had succeeded to the presi- 
dency of the United States on the death of President Garfield. Senator 
Davis served out his term as acting vice-president. He then returned to 
Bloomington and died on June 26, 1886. 

History of McLean County 259 

How near to becoming president of the United States Judge Davis 
approached, is shown by a glance at the history of the campaign of 1872. 
Judge Davis was then on the supreme bench. The liberal Republicans 
held a convention in Cincinnati to consider a nominee for the presidency 
to oppose President Grant. There were five names prominently before 
the convention, of which Judge Davis was pre-eminent, the others being 
Gov. B. Gratz Brown, Lyman Trumbull, Charles Francis Adams, and Ho- 
race Greeley. It was generally conceded that if Judge Davis were nomi- 
nated he would have been endorsed by the Democratic convention and this 
would have meant his election. But a series of deals in the Cincinnati 
convention resulted in the nomination of Horace Greeley, who was de- 
feated at the election. Prior to the meeting of the Cincinnati convention, 
when the name of Davis was being boosted for the nomination, plans were 
made for a special train bearing McLean County men to go over and at- 
tend the meeting. There were 500 men with a band, and the delegation 
made a great impression on the convention as showing the popularity 
of Judge Davis in his own home and state. Good judges of political events 
have said that if he had been nominated there is little doubt he would 
have been elected. 

Judge Davis was an excellent judge of real estate, and to his presci- 
ence in this line it was due the foundation of his fortune. He made excel- 
lent investments in Chicago, and also acquired many thousands of acres 
of farm land in McLean and adjoining counties, as well as Bloomington 
city property. His liberality and public spirit were many times mani- 
fested. He gave 40 acres of land to secure the location of the State Nor- 
mal University and 60 acres to locate the Soldiers' Orphans' Home in 
Normal. When the Alton shops were burned in 1869, Judge Davis in Chi- 
cago learned of a move to remove the plant to another city, and his activity 
in a great measure prevented this and saved the great industry for 

Jesse W. Fell was the first lawyer to make his home in McLean County. 
He was born in Chester County, Pa., in 1808, and came to Bloomington 
in 1832. He had been admitted to the bar in Ohio, and was later admitted 
in Illinois, but retired from active practice in 1844. He served as school 
commissioner of McLean County and was paymaster in the U. S. army in 
the Civil War. As recounted elsewhere, he was influential in founding 

260 History of McLean County 

the town of Normal and locating the Normal University and Soldiers' 
Orphans' Home there. He died in Bloomington on Jan. 25, 1887. 

Welcome P. Brown was an early lawyer of prominence, coming to the 
county in 1835. He served as probate judge and also police magistrate. 
In 1842 he removed to Woodford County, where he served as county 
judge. Later he moved to Kansas and died in Colorado. 

Colton Wells came to the county in 1837 and was admitted to the bar 
in 1842; was probate judge, 1839-43; removed to St. Louis, where he died 
in 1849. 

Gen. Asahel Gridley was a lawyer in addition to his other activities. 
He was born in Cazenovia, N. Y., in 1810 and came to Bloomington in 
1831. He served as an officer of militia in the Black Hawk War; was 
elected to the Legislature in the 12th, 17th and 18th assemblies ; engaged 
in banking and other commercial enterprises. Died Jan. 20, 1881. 

Kersey H. Fell, brother of Jesse W. Fell, was admitted to the bar in 
this county in 1841. Retired in 1854; died in 1893. 

Judge John M. Scott was admitted to the bar in St. Clair County in 
1847 and came to McLain County the next year. He served as city attor- 
ney of Bloomington and circuit judge 1862-70. He served as justice of the 
Supreme Court of Illinois 1870-88. He died Jan. 21, 1898. 

Gen. William W. Orme came to Bloomington in 1850 and was admitted 
to the bar two years later. Was master in chancery and delegate to the 
constitutional convention 1862. Was colonel of the 94th Illinois in 1862, 
later promoted to Brigadier General. Died in 1866. 

Leonard Swett was born in Maine in 1825; came to this county in 
1853 and began practice. Served one term in Legislature 1858. He was 
a close friend of A. Lincoln. He removed to Chicago in 1865 and died 
there, having retired in 1889. 

Thomas F. Tipton, a native of Franklin County, Ohio, came to McLean 
County in 1844 and began practice in 1854. Served as state's attorney 
for Eighth Circuit 1867-8; circuit judge 1870-76; was elected to Congress 
in latter year. Served as circuit judge 1891-97. Died in 1904. 

Owen T. Reeves, born in Ohio 1829; graduated Ohio Wesleyan 1850; 
removed to Bloomington 1854 and began practice; elected circuit judge 
1877-91. Was member appellate court last three years. In Civil War 
served colonel of 100-day emergency regiment. Was one of founders of 

History of McLean County 261 

law department of Wesleyan University, where he served as dean many 

Reuben M. Benjamin born at Chatham Center, N. Y., 1833; graduated 
at Amherst; admitted to bar in Bloomington in 1856 on certificate from 
Abraham Lincoln. He was a prominent member of the constitutional 
convention of 1870. Served as county judge 1873-86. Was author of 
several books on law, and taught for many years in Wesleyan Law School. 

Ezra M. Prince, native of Maine, located in McLean County in 1856. 
He served as master in chancery and taught in Wesleyan Law School. 
Was secretary of McLean County Historical Society from its organiza- 
tion until his death, and was author of many local historical papers. 

Ward H. Lamon was one of the prominent early lawyers of the 
county. A native of West Virvinia, he came here in 1857, having pre- 
viously practiced in Danville, where he was associated with A. Lincoln. 
Served as states attorney for the old eighth district. After Lincoln's 
election, he appointed Lamon marshal for the District of Columbia. For 
a short time during his residence in Washington he served as colonel of a 
regiment of volunteers. He died in 1893. 

James S. Ewing came to Bloomington in 1840; in 1859 was admitted 
to the bar of Illinois and practiced law continuously up to the time of his 
death, except the year when he was U. S. minister to Belgium during the 
presidency of Grover Cleveland. He lived for many years in the fine 
brick house at Mulberry and East Streets, which after his death was sold 
to become the site of the Consistory Temple. 

Jonathan H. Rowell was born at Haverhill, N. H., in 1833; came to 
McLean County in 1849 ; graduated from law department of Chicago Uni- 
versity in 1865. Had taught in Eureka College prior to the Civil War 
and during that struggle served as captain in Company G, 17th Illinois. 
After the war was chosen master in chancery and states attorney. Served 
four terms in Congress, 1882-90. He died in 1904. 

John McNulta came to McLean County in 1859; served in Civil War 
from private to colonel of 94th Illinois. Was elected state senator in 
1868 and to Congress in 1872. During his latter years he spent much 
time as receiver of railroads, one of them being the Wabash. He re- 
moved to Chicago in 1895 and died there in 1900. 

Ira J. Bloomfield, a brigadier-general of the Civil War, practiced law 
in this county from 1866 to 1884, when he removed to Colorado. 

262 History of McLean County 

George P. Davis, son of Judge David Davis, born in 1842, was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1867, but retired from active practice in 1870, devot- 
ing himself to his banking and farm interests. He served as president 
of the McLean County Historical Society several years prior to his death. 

Hamilton Spencer, former general manager of the Chicago & Alton 
road, was also a practicing lawyer for several years. He died in 1891. 

Lawrence Weldon, born in Ohio in 1829, came to Illinois in 1854 and 
practiced in DeWitt County for several years. Was elected to Legislature 
and chosen as elector on Republican ticket 1860. He was named by 
President Lincoln as district attorney for southern Illinois, serving till 
1866, when he removed to Bloomington. In 1883 he was appointed jus- 
tice of the U. S. Court of Claims and served in that capacity in Wash- 
ington till his death in 1905. 

Leonidas H. Kerrick, an extensive farmer, was also a lawyer, prac- 
ticing for five years, 1865-70. Served one term in Legislature and sev- 
eral terms as trustee of the University of Illinois. Was president of the 
board at his death in 1907. 

John M. Hamilton, born in Ohio, came to McLean County in 1869 
and began practice in 1870. In 1876 was elected state senator and in 
1880 lieutenant-governor. In 1883 he succeeded to the office of governor 
when Governor Cullom was chosen U. S. Senator. On retirement from 
governorship in 1885 he removed to Chicago, where he died in 1908. 

Joseph Wilson Fifer, born in Virginia in 1840, came to McLean 
County as a boy. Served as private in 33d Illinois through the Civil War ; 
was badly wounded. In 1868 graduated from Wesleyan University and 
Law School. Served as city and state's attorney and was member of state 
senate 1880-84. In 1888 he was elected governor of Illinois and served 
four years. He was member of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 
Washington 1899-06. He served as member of state constitutional con- 
vention 1920 and is in active practice of his profession (1923). 

Colostin B. Myers was admitted to the bar in Michigan, 1874, began 
practice of law in this county same year. Was city attorney and state 
senator one term, 1888-92. Was county judge for 12 years and for 18 
years served as circuit judge. He served on the appellate bench and was 
mentioned for justice of the Supreme Court and he received a large 
vote in convention. He died Jan. 12, 1920. 

History of McLean County 263 

Thomas C. Kerrick came to McLean County in 1868 and practiced 
many years. He served as city attorney and was state senator one term, 
1888. He was one of the delegates to the constitutional convention, 1920. 
Is still in active practice. 

James S. Neville began practice in 1881. He served as alderman and 
mayor of Bloomington and died while occupying the latter office in 1906. 
For several years he served as member of the state warehouse and railroad 

John A. Sterling was admitted in 1885 ; elected state's attorney in 
1892, and served four terms. In 1902 he was elected to Congress and re- 
elected for each succeeding two-year term except in the Sixty-third Con- 
gress. He met accidental death on Oct. 17, 1918, when an automobile in 
which he was riding was overturned on a road near Pontiac. 

Alfred Sample was judge of the Eleventh Circuit for many years 
until his death. Practiced in Ford County, served as city attorney of 
Paxton; as presidential elector for Garfield, 1880. 

Charles Laban Capen came to McLean County in 1857; began prac- 
tice in 1871 ; served as president of State Bar Association ; now and for 
many years dean of the Wesleyan Law School; served many years on 
the state board of education, in management of the Illinois State Nor- 
mal University. 

Hudson Burr was here after 1854; served as adjutant of 94th Illinois 
in Civil War. Died in 1891. 

John E. Pollock was admitted to the bar in Ohio and Virginia, and 
came to this county in 1866. Served as master in chancery and also was 
on the state board for management of penitentiaries. 

Two lawyers who practiced outside the county seat and yet who made 
their mark in their profession during their lives were Wesley M. and Les- 
lie J. Owen, both of Leroy. They were native sons of McLean County, 
being born at Covell, their parents being Martin J. and Sarah Hopkins 
Owen. Leslie taught school when a young man, worked as railway mail 
clerk, and then graduated at Wesleyan Law School. Mr. Owen practiced 
very successfully in partnership with his twin brother, Wesley, for many 
years at Leroy, and after the latter's death Leslie continued until his own 
tragic death. He was killed by being hit by an automobile near the Big 
Four station in Bloomington on the morning of Nov. 12, 1922. Wesley 

264 History of McLean County 

M. Owen also taught school when a young man, and then attended Wes- 
leyan Law School, graduating in 1894. Establishing in practice at Leroy 
with his brother, he took part in politics and in 1900 was elected to the 
Legislature. He served with distinction. In 1910 he was appointed by 
President Roosevelt as judge of the Panama Canal zone, which office he 
filled with great ability for several years. On retirement he resumed, 
practice until his death on Oct. 16, 1917. 

Erskine M. Hamilton was admitted to practice in McLean County in 
1871 ; had served in 84th Ohio in Civil War, and afterward was city attor- 
ney of Steubenville, Ohio; acted as pension atorney in Bloomington for 
many years. Died about ten years ago. 

Darius H. Pingrey began service here in 1877; taught in Wesleyan 
Law School; was author of several legal text-books, including one on 
international law. 

Sain Welty, after graduating from Yale Law School at the head of 
his class in 1883, came to Bloomington and formed a partnership with 
John A. Sterling in 1884. He served as city attorney and as master in 
chancery. In 1915 he was elected circuit judge and filled the position with 
distinction until his death in April, 1920. 

Judge Edward Barry, the sitting jurist of this judicial district, was 
admitted to the bar in 1887, and for years practiced in partnership with 
Joseph F. Fifer and later with John J. Morrissey. He was elected judge 
without opposition at a special election after the death of Judge Welty in 
1920, and in June, 1921, was elected for a full term. 

Robert E. Williams was one of the eminent members of the bar in 
the earlier days. Born in Pennsylvania, he lived in Texas for some years 
after being admitted to the bar. He came to McLean County in 1856 and 
remained here until his death in 1899. He attained more than ordinary 
local prominence as a lawyer. In 1868 he was nominated by the Demo- 
cratic party as candidate for attorney-general of Illinois, but he with his 
party met defeat, after an able campaign. 

It is impossible to give sketches of all the lawyers of other years who 
practiced with ability and success in McLean County, and who adorned 
the bar by their lives. A mere list of some of their names will bring to 
mind of the older citizens, men who served their day and generation well. 
Following is a fairly complete list of the names: 

Franklin Brattan, William H. Hanna, Major W. Packard, Amzi Mc- 

History of McLean County 265 

Williams, Levi Hite, William H. Holmes, Henry L. Haskell, Washington 
Wright, Jesse Birch, Andrew W. Rodgers, L. L. Strain, Almon B. Ives, 
James C. Walker, George 0. Robinson, James E. Flagg, David Brier, 
Thomas H. Sparrow, Samuel H. Dent, Robert E. Woodson, William H. 
Cord, Jeremiah Learning, John M. Stillwell, William P. Boyd, Walter M. 
Hatch, John B. Cohrs, Thomas C. Peek, Simeon P. Ives, Richard Williams, 
Jesse Bishop, John B. Perry, David Quigg, Augustus C. Reed, Benjamin 

F. Betzer, Oliver C. Sabin, Thomas Slade, John A. Spence, Chas. R. Dichin- 
son, Isaac S. Mahan, Henry A. Ewing, J. W. Straight, James Wells, Rob-. 
McCart, Wm. E. Hughes, Zachariah Lawrence, Joseph Pancake, Henry 

G. Reeves, Hezekiah Benson, Thomas A. Underhill, Winfield S. Coy, Aaron 
G. Karr, Louis H. Karr, John F. Winter, William Van Voris, William E. 
Gapin, Thomas McNulta, Isaac W. Stroud, Orlando Aldrich, Charles Shack- 
elford, Cornelius G. Bradshaw, James D. Spencer, James R. Brooks, Parke 

E. Temple, John C. Scovel, Joseph M. Weakley, W. C. P. Remine, Nathan 

F. Pusey, Robert B. Porter, Miletus S. McGrew, William H. Whitehead, 
Benjamin D. Lucas, Albert Bushnell, John G. Tipton, A. B. Campbell, Ran- 
dolph Pike, Asahel Dickinson, Richard Osborn, Marshall Williams, Will- 
iam Duff Haynie, James Gordon Forbes, Jesse Lynch, Henry D. Spencer, 
Alfred Davidson, Frank Jackson, Samuel P. Robinson, Robert W. Sabin, 
Hiram Hadley, John Stapleton, Hamer H. Green, Edwin H. Miner, Ivory 
H. Pike, George A. Hill, Franklin Blades, Frank B. Henderson, William 
H. Beaver, Frank Y. Hamilton, Jacob P. Lindley, David C. Ross, Edgar 
Holly, Andrew J. Barr, Robert L. Fleming, Henry Dooley, Otto Lowen- 
traut, Robert P. McNulta, David P. McDonald, Frank B. McKennan, Dwight 
E. Will, Roland A. Russell, Joseph J. Thompson, Harvey Hart, George F. 
Jordan, Miss Effie Henderson, James G. Condon, Ralph F. Potter, Jesse R. 
Long, John Mayne Pollock, R. D. Calkins, Arthur M. Conard, Edward 
Peirce, Thomas L. Pollock, Oliver R. Trowbridge, Walker McLean, Earl 
D. Riddle, James P. Grove, Thomas W. Tipton, James M. Reeves, Daniel 
H. Bane, Wave Miller, Samuel H. Dooley, John G. Boeker, Egbert B. 
Hawk, Herman Fifer, Charles F. Agle, Benjamin L. Goodheart, Albert F. 
Monroe, Edward M. Hoblit, Edgar Milton Heafer, James J. Love, Verne 
J. Swartz, Thomas V. O'Donnell, Walter C. Muxfeld. 

Following are the present (1923) members of the McLean County 
bar, who are in active practice, together with the year in which each be- 
gan his practice: John Alexander, 1902; William R. Bach, 1894; William 

266 History of McLean County 

F. Costigan, 1911; Fred W. Wollrab, 1915; L. Earl Bach, 1921; Dwight 
E. Beal, 1912; William K. Bracken, 1892; Miles K. Young, 1890; Nicholas 
W. Brandicon, 1878 ; Martin A. Brennan, 1903 ; Enoch Brock, 1886 ; Charles 
M. Buck, 1902; Charles L. Capen, 1868; W. B. Carlock, 1870; A. E. De- 
Mange, 1877; Ralph C. DeMange, 1907; Earl R. Depew, 1915; D. D 
Donahue, 1899; E. E. Donnelly, 1885; E. A. Donnelly, 1916; Richard F 
Dunn, 1915; Delmer Dunn, 1919; Joseph W. Fifer, 1869; Jacob A. Bohrer 
1896; John A. Fulwiler, 1868; Frank Gillespie, 1890; Homer W. Hall 
1892; Lester H. Martin, 1903; Oscar G. Hoose, 1914; Frank O. Hanson 
1903; Louis C. Hay, 1887; C. B. Hughes, 1900; H. A. Iungerich, 1910 
Charles P. Kane, 1914; Thomas Kennedy, 1886; Kaywin Kennedy, 1920 
W. H. Kerrick, 1892; Sylvan L. Kupfer, 1915; W. Blake Leach, 1902 
Huber Light, 1902; James A. Light, 1908; John T. Lillard, 1874; Robert 
E. Williams, 1886; Sigmund Livingston, 1894; W. W. Whitmore, 1894 
Mrs. Stella Whitmore, 1918; James L. Loar, 1888; Aurelius M. Miller 
1903; John J. Morrissey, 1880; John M. Sullivan, 1906; Adlai H. Rust 
1914; J. B. Murphy, 1920; H. M. Murray, 1890; M. M. Morrissey, 1905 
Edmund O'Connell, 1876; R. M. O'Connell, 1910; E. W. Oglevee, 1900 
B. A. Franklin, 1902; A. W. Peasley, 1888; Charles M. Peirce, 1889; H. I 
Pratt, 1912; R. J. Heffernan, 1913; Roy Ramseyer, 1918; W. C. Radliff 
1914 ; Calvin Rayburn, 1879 ; Harry E. Riddle, 1915 ; James C. Riley, 1899 
H. A. Rodee, 1912; D. J. Sammon, 1895; Hal M. Stone, 1900; George F 
Dick, 1909; Edward W. Sutherland, 1898; Wayne C. Townley, 1920 
Thomas S. Weldon, 1909; John F. Wight, 1885; Charles I. Will, 1892 
Charles A. Zweng, 1912; Loren Lewis, 1918; Harold M. Hulse, 1920 
Claude Kitchell, 1921; Chalmer C. Taylor, 1920; Maurice Stern, 1921 
Herbert M. Livingston, 1921 ; Horatio G. Bent ; Horatio C. Bent ; Spencer 
Ewing; Birney F. Fleming; George K. Foster; Howard Rhen, Hubert J. 




In the very early times of the county, the settlers had to do without 
the services of a professional physican, and some of the settlers them- 
selves, especially the women, developed considerable skill and perhaps some 
science in the matter of treating the common ailments to which the flesh 
is heir. Aunt Jane Hendrix and Aunt Ann Dawson were women of this 
kind. Mrs. Gardner Randolph was another. Their materia medica was of 
simple proportions ; sweating and the use of native herbs were their main 

The first doctor known to have visited the county was Dr. Herring- 
ton of Springfield, who was called to Blooming Grove in 1825 to attend 
a sick man at the home of John Wells Dawson, he being a U. S. surveyor. 
Dr. John Anderson settled here in 1833, Dr. Thomas H. Haines soon after- 
ward, Dr. John F. Henry in 1835, Dr. David Wheeler in 1836. According 
to some authorities among the early settlers, Dr. Wheeler came even 
before Dr. Anderson ; at least he was among the very first physicians who 
located in the settlement. Dr. Haines died in 1838 and Dr. Anderson in 
1842, both believed to have succumbed to overwork in the hard condi- 
tions and much sickness of the time. Dr. Wheeler lived to the age of 89 
and died at Waynesville. Dr. Henry removed to Burlington, Iowa. Dr. 
Jarvis Gaylord and Dr. E. M. Colburn were other early physicians who 


268 History of McLean County 

remained in McLean County only a few years. Dr. Garrett Elkin lived 
here from 1845 to 1853. 

The McLean County Medical Society was organized in 1854, with 
the following as its first officers: President, Dr. A. H. Luce; vice-presi- 
dent, Dr. H. Noble; corresponding secretary, Dr. E. R. Roe; recording 
secretary, Dr. W. A. Elder; treasurer, Dr. T. P. Rogers. The society con- 
tinued from that time until the present, and has never neglected to hold 
occasional meetings and keep up its organization. 

The pioneer physician was a man of strong type, mentally and physi- 
cally, for he could not have practiced his profession under the trying 
conditions of that time unless he had been strong. The last survivor of 
the charter members of the medical society was Dr. Charles R. Parke, 
who wrote a history of the society which was published in 1905. Dr. 
Parke graduated from the medical department of the University of Penn- 
sylvania in 1848, the same year went overland to California, came to 
Bloomington in 1852, was surgeon in the Russian army 1855-56, returned 
to Bloomington in 1857 and remained here until 1902, when he retired 
and removed to Louisville, where he died. He was surgeon-in-chief of 
St. Joseph's Hospital for twenty years. 

The McLean County Medical Society celebrated its golden or fiftieth 
anniversary with a banquet at the Illinois Hotel in Bloomington on April 
7, 1904, at which there were present about 50 members and former mem- 
bers and their families. Among the guests of honor was Dr. Charles R. 
Parke, one of the charter members and the eighth president, who came 
from his retirement in Louisville to be present on this occasion. There 
were visitors from many cities. Some brief statement of facts about the 
more prominent members of the society during its long years of history, 
most of whom have passed on or have retired, may be made at follows: 

Dr. S. T. Anderson, graduate of Rush, located here in 1881 and was 
a prominent practitioner until his death several years ago. 

Dr. T. W. Bath, born in Wales, located first in Normal and then went 
to the Philippine Islands as an army surgeon. After again locating here 
he practiced several years, then departed for the far west. 

Dr. A. T. Barnes was a superintendent of the Illinois Hospital for In- 
sane at Anna before coming to McLean County; he was president of the 
County Medical Society, and prominent Republican politician in addition 

History of McLean County 269 

to be a doctor; he was appointed postmaster of Bloomington and served 
as such until shortly before his death. 

Dr. H. F. Ballard, graduate of Rush, practiced in Chenoa and 

Dr. N. B. Cole located in Bloomington in 1865, was physician at the 
Soldiers Orphans' Home until shortly before his removal in 1896 to Phoe- 
nix, Ariz., where he died several years later. 

Dr. E. K. Crothers located in Bloomington in 1850 and was a leading 
physician until his death in 1893. He was the father of Rachel Crothers, 
the famous playwright. 

Dr. C. J. Corley, graduate of Rush Medical College, located here in 
1884 and practiced with success until his death in 1898. 

Dr. William Cromwell, graduate of University of Maryland, located 
here in 1858, was appointed postmaster of Bloomington in 1867 and served 
four years. Died in 1874. 

Dr. Henry Conklin was a physician in this county between 1864 and 
1888, practicing in both Bloomington and Hudson. 

Dr. Samuel L. Chapin, native of DeWitt County, graduate of Jeffer- 
son Medical College, practiced in Holder and Saybrook between 1875 and 
1904. On Aug. 18 of the latter year he was murdered by an insane man 
as he was returning to his office. 

Dr. J. E. Covey, born near Leroy, graduated from Rush, spent five 
months in Germany, and practiced in Bloomington from 1904 to 1907, 
when he died. 

Dr. A. T. Darrah, native of Ohio, graduated from Rush in 1865, and 
was located in Bloomington from 1883 until his death in 1889. He was 
prominent in Masonry, and the father of Delmar D. Darrah, afterward 
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Illinois. 

Dr. W. A. Elder, prominent practitioner in Bloomington from 1851 
until his death in 1895. 

Dr. F. H. Godfrey, graduate of Miami Medical College, practiced in 
Bellflower, and in 1890 came to Bloomington, where he practiced until his 
death. Served many years on the city board of health. 

Dr. William E. Guthrie, one of the eminent surgeons of his time, 
served as chief surgeon for Lake Erie and the Chicago & Alton Railroads ; 
was on staffs of St. Joseph's and Brokaw Hospitals and devoted himself 
exclusively to surgery from 1900 to the time of his death. 

270 History of McLean County 

Dr. John Haig, graduate of Miami Medical College, lived and prac- 
ticed at Leroy for many years and served as postmaster for several years. 

Dr. William Hill, native of Ohio, surgeon 48th Illinois Regiment in 
Civil War ; located in Bloomington at close of war and practiced here until 
time of his death. 

Dr. Silas Hubbard, native of New York, graduate of Castleton Medi- 
cal College, Vermont; practiced at Hudson from 1858 to 1900, when he 
removed to East Aurora, N. Y., to be with his son, Elbert Hubbard, the 
famous writer. Dr. Hubbard and his son are both deceased. 

Dr. M. D. Hull, graduate of Louisville Medical College, practiced at 
Arrowsmith for many years, and after 1894 in Bloomington, until his 

Dr. F. 0. Jackman, graduate of Northwestern University Medical Col- 
lege, served on staffs of insane hospitals at Topeka, Jacksonville, and Mt. 
Pleasant, Iowa ; now retired, living in Bloomington. 

Dr. Jehu Little, native of Indiana ; graduate of Belleville Medical Col- 
lege; served as surgeon in Civil War; was prisoner in Libby Prison; prac- 
ticed in Leroy and Bloomington from 1866 to death ; served as president, 
secretary and treasurer of McLean County Medical Society. 

Dr. A. H. Luce located in Bloomington 1842 and practiced until his 
death in 1893. Was charter member and first president of County Medi- 
cal Society. 

Dr. Ernest Mammen, graduate of Rush, studied in Europe on several 
occasions ; served as county physician ; practiced surgery many years in 
Bloomington; now in China delivering lectures at medical colleges. 

Dr. D. 0. Moore, native of Ohio, practiced in Bloomington from 1863 
until his death in 1901. 

Dr. Nelson K. McCormick, graduate of Chicago Medical; located in 
Normal in 1889 ; served as physician at Soldiers Orphans' home ; was chief 
of staff and one of the main promoters of Brokaw Hospital ; now deceased. 

Dr. Harrison Noble, graduate of Ohio Medical and Rush, located in 
McLean County in 1832; was member of Legislature in 1864-65; died in 

Dr. C. T. Orner, located in Saybrook in 1871 ; Bloomington in 1884, 
until his death ; was on staff St. Joseph's Hospital. 

Dr. F. J. Parkhurst, graduate of Chicago Medical ; located in Danvers ; 
conducted Willow Bark Institute until his death in 1902. 

History of McLean County 271 

Dr. Thomas P. Rogers came from Philadelphia, located in Woodford 
County, then in Bloomington; elected to Legislature 1872-80; is now 

Dr. E. R. Roe, located in Bloomington before Civil War; served as 
lieutenant-colonel in Civil War; later was U. S. marshal in southern Illi- 
nois ; died 1893. 

Dr. R. W. Shinn, graduate of Rush, practiced many years in Chenoa. 

Dr. T. E. Stahl, practiced in Bloomington and Mackinaw, 1874-87, 
and died in Mackinaw in 1887. 

Dr. L. H. Skaggs, located in Ellsworth in 1872; served as assistant 
surgeon of 94th Illinois in Civil War. 

Dr. George R. Smith, graduate of Chicago Medical; began practice in 
Bloomington 1887 and continued to his death. 

Dr. G. M. Smith, graduate of Cleveland Medical, came to Blooming- 
ton in 1883 ; elected mayor 1894 ; died in November, 1897. 

Dr. Lee Smith, graduate of Rush Medical ; served as surgeon in charge 
of army hospital in Washington, 1862-63 ; practiced in Bloomington after- 
ward until his death. 

Dr. A. E. Stewart, native of McLean County ; graduate of Jefferson 
Medical ; was assistant surgeon 94th Illinois ; elected to Legislature 1872- 
76; died 1899. 

Dr. R. Wunderlich, graduate of Tubingen College, Germany; prac- 
ticed in Germany and Chili; came to Bloomington 1868; died in February, 

Dr. Thomas F. Worrell, graduated from Louisville Medical, located 
in Bloomington in 1850; died in September, 1887. 

Dr. J. M. Waters, graduate of Jefferson; practised in Normal and 
later in Gibson City, 1868-79. 

Dr. J. L. White, graduate of Harvard Medical College, located in 
Jerseyville and later in Memphis ; came to Bloomington in 1870 ; served 
as member of Legislature 1894-96; died in 1902. Was head of staff of 
St. Joseph's Hospital for many years. 

A list of many of the other prominent physicians and surgeons of 
McLean County of former years who have either died or removed to dis- 
tant places would include the following: 

Dr. Charles Ayling, Dr. Paul Allyn, Dr. A. A. Absher, Dr. Edwin M. 
Adams, Dr. J. C. Adams, Dr. W. J. Ballard, Dr. L. A. Burr, Dr. W. A. 

272 History of McLean County 

Balcke, Dr. C. 0. Burke, Dr. R. R. Burns, Dr. G. W. Bartin, Dr. Samuel 
Bane, Dr. John Y. Bonnett, Dr. Robert D. Bradley, Dr. C. R. Carr, Dr. 
Charles Carle, Dr. Howard C. Crist, Dr. D. 0. Crist, Dr. H. S. Chapin, Dr. 
W. R. Chew, Dr. David L. Crist, Dr. H. M. Dally, Dr. D. T. Douglas, Dr. 
R. W. Dunlap, Dr. G. D. Elder, Dr. George W. Elder, Dr. Charles S. Elder, 
Dr. J. R. Freese, Dr. D. M. Foster, Dr. T. D. Fisher, Dr. Elias Grey, Dr. C. 
Judson Gill, Dr. Daniel 0. Golding, Dr. R. Earl Gordon, Dr. D. 0. D. Haer- 
ing, Dr. T. T. Haering, Dr. J. W. Hall, Dr. C. E. Hayward, Dr. Z. L. Hoover, 
Dr. Edward P. G. Holderness, Dr. Lewis J. Hammers, Dr. William Hal- 
lam, Dr. N. F. Jordan, Dr. E. B. Johnson, Dr. Albert G. Jones, Dr. M. S. 
Kopf, Dr. S. L. Kerr, Dr. J. E. Kunkler, Dr. William J. Kirk, Dr. L. S. 
Keith, Dr. 0. A. Kell, Dr. A. F. Kaeser, Dr. T. W. Keys, Dr. James S. 
Lackey, Dr. Hiram C. Luce, Dr. Julius Lehman, Dr. R. G. Laughlin, Dr. 
Thomas R. Mullen, Dr. James Montgomery, Dr. John P. Moore, Dr. George 
W. Mason, Dr. J. M. Miller, Dr. D. H. McFarland, Dr. William Mcintosh, 
Dr. John F. McKenzie, Dr. D. H. Nusbaum, Dr. Stephen W. Noble, Dr. 
Harvey Parkhurst, Dr. J. R. Peirce, Dr. A. R. Penniman, Dr. W. L. Pol- 
lock, Dr. William Patch, Dr. Ernest S. Reedy, Dr. W. H. Reedy, Dr. J. W. 
Read, Dr. S. L. Stevens, Dr. Charles C. Sater, Dr. J. M. Suggett, Dr. J. H. 
Stein, Dr. E. M. Stretch, Dr. E. E. Sargent, Dr. L. E. Spear, Dr. John 
Sweeney, Dr. George W. Stipp, Dr. Frank A. Stubblefield, Dr. John A. Tut- 
hill, Dr. E. M. K. Taylor, Dr. A. P. Tenney, Dr. Thomas M. Taylor, Dr. 
Nathaniel P. Ward, Dr. H. A. Winter, Dr. M. C. Wilson, Dr. S. B. Wright, 
Dr. J. W. Waters. 

Dr. W. H. Gardner, one of the younger physicians of the city, carried 
on his practice for several years in connection with the Kelso Sanitarium, 
and then went into military service in the World War. He made a fine 
record, taking part in the operations of the Argonne. After the war he 
gave up practice and engaged in business with his father and brothers. 

The names of the physicians and surgeons who are members of the 
McLean County Medical Society the present year (1923) are as follows: 

Bloomington — Drs. F. W. Brian, E. L. Brown, C. E. Chapin, Bernice 
Curry, E. G. Covington, T. D. Cantrell, L. B. Cavins, A. J. Casner, J. J. 
Condon, G. M. Cline, Frank Deneen, H. W. Elder, J. Norman Elliott, J. H. 
Fenelon, Ralph A. Fox, A. R. Freeman, J. W. Fulwiler, A. L. Fox, F. C. 
Fisher, H. W. Grote, W. W. Gailey, Paul E. Greenleaf, M. V. Gunn, F. H. 
Henderson, E. B. Hart, J. K. P. Hawks, H. L. Howell, L. L. Erwin, George 

History of McLean County 273 

B. Kelso, Alvin Keller, Ralph R. Loar, A. W. Meyer, J. C. McNutt, R. N. 
Noble, W. E. Neiberger, Ralph P. Peairs, D. D. Raber, 0. M. Rhodes, A. E. 
Rogers, G. A. Sloan, E. P. Sloan, 0. J. Sloan, J. Whitefield Smith, A. C. 
Schoch, F. C. Vandervort, F. J. Welch, H. W. Wellmerling, Harold R. Wat- 
kins, J. L. Yolton, Rhoda G. Yolton, W. M. Young, E. G. Weiland, J. P. 
Noble, C. M. Noble, Eliza Hyndman, A. L. Fox, Harlan H. Hart, A. L. 

Normal — Drs. Florence Ames, Ferd C. McCormick, W. L. Penniman. 

Lexington — Drs. Martha Bull, L. J. Hammers. 

Bellflower — Dr. J. H. Copenhaver. 

Danvers — Drs. W. A. Coss, E. M. Minnick, B. 0. Swinehart. 

Colfax— Drs. H. W. Langstaff, H. E. Pinkerton. 

Heyworth — Drs. Frank Turner, F. L. Wakefield. 

Cropsey — Dr. H. C. Cantle. 

Stanford— Dr. S. T. Cavins. 

Chenoa — Dr. C. R. Kerr. 

Saybrook — Dr. James Jensen. 

Towanda — Dr. P. A. Humphries. 

Gridley — Drs. Thomas Moate, E. M. Adams. 

Leroy— E. R. May, E. E. Sargent. 

Downs — Dr. E. C. Williams. 

McLean— Dr. C. W. Ritter. 

Elsewhere — Dr. E. S. Horine, Maywood, 111. ; 0. F. May, Fort Bayard, 
N. Mex. ; V. D. Thomas, Greystone Park, N. J. ; John Zeigler, Farmer City. 

The list of McLean County physicians who saw active service in the 
army or navy during the World War was as follows: Dr. Harry Howell, 
Dr. R. A. Noble, Dr. Wilfred Gardner, Dr. A. E. Rogers, Dr. J. W. Wallis, 
Dr. T. D. Cantrell, Dr. J. K. P. Hawks, Dr. L. B. Cavins, Dr. Frank Sayers, 
Dr. Fred Brian, Dr. F. C. Vandervort, Dr. G. H. Galford, Dr. W. W. Gailey, 
Dr. L. L. Irwin, Dr. A. E. Behrendt, Dr. A. J. Casner, Dr. J. L. Yolton, 
Dr. H. A. Elder, Dr. W. L. Penniman, Dr. D. D. Raber, Dr. E. R. Hermann 
(Stanford), Dr. A. R. Freeman, Dr. Paul Greenleaf, Dr. C. E. Schultz, 
Dr. Frank Deneen, Dr. L. 0. Thompson (LeRoy), Dr. 0. A. Coss, Arrow- 

The Board of Examiners in McLean County were as follows: 

Drs. F. C. Vandervort, E. Mammen, J. L. Yolton, F. H. Godfrey, J. H. 
Fenelon, Frank F. Fisher, William Young, Harry L. Howell, Charles E. 



History of McLean County 

The Exemption Board Examiners: 

Drs. N. E. Nieberger, E. P. Sloan, E. B. Hart, W. E. Gutherie, R. D. 
Fox, G. B. Kelso and J. Whitefield Smith. 

In the last 15 years, Bloomington has become the location of several 
physicians of the newer schools of practice. There are now eight dif- 
ferent practitioners of the osteopathic method, and they have become 
recognized among the substantial professional class of the city. The 
names of the osteopaths listed in the 1923 directory were Warren E. 
Atkins, Mrs. Annie B. Bunn, Ethel L. Burner, John D. Cunningham, 
Daugherty & Mantle, Charles P. Hanson and Eugene Pitts. 

Chiropractors are another class of practitioners who have become 
established in the county seat, there being listed in 1923 the following: 
Frank J. Esper, V. Emil Lambeau, E. Russell Scott, Alfred T. Spath. 




The organization of dentists of McLean County is of comparatively 
recent date. It was on Oct. 10, 1902, that a meeting of dentists was called 
at the rooms of the Business Men's Association, with the following pres- 
ent: F. H. Mcintosh, J. M. Crigler, J. S. Reece, J. H. Campbell, W. H. 
Land, G. D. Sitherwood, 0. J. Jarrett, M. D. Young, E. B. Coen, J. G. 
Besley, J. W. Kasbeer, B. M. VanDervoort, C. P. Holland and A. J. Elmer. 
Dr. F. H. Mcintosh was chosen as temporary chairman and B. M. Van- 
Dervoort as temporary secretary. It was voted to form the McLean 
County Dental Society, and the following committee was appointed to 
draw up constitution and by-laws: A. J. Elmer, G. D. Sitherwood and 
J. H. Campbell. Every practicing dentist in McLean County was to be 
invited to join the new society. 

At the second meeting, held one week later, the following dentists 
in addition to those present at the first meeting, expressed in person or 
by letter their willingness to join the society: Harry Stevenson, H. C. 
Rodenhauser, J. B. Brown, B. Henline, P. H. Geiger, C. D. Eaton, 0. R. 
Griffith, J. M. Gallahugh of Chenoa, D. M. Field of Danvers, J. T. Scott, 
of Saybrook, A. T. Hanson of Lexington, B. L. Stevens of Lexington, D. 
M. Field of Danvers, A. M. Wilkes of Leroy. 

The following were the first permanent set of officers elected : Presi- 
dent, F. H. Mcintosh; vice-president, J. H. Campbell; secretary, B. M. 


276 History of McLean County 

VanDervoort; treasurer, A. M. Field of Danvers. Executive committee, 
G. D. Sitherwood and 0. J. Jarret of Bloomington, J. S. Reece of Normal. 
Board of censors, J. M. Crigler and J. B. Brown of Bloomington, J. M. 
Gallahugh of Chenoa. 

The first death among the members of the society was noted in the 
proceedings of Nov. 21, 1902, when resolutions on the death of Dr. 0. T. 
Hansen of Lexington were passed. 

The society held its first banquet at the new Illinois Hotel on Dec. 15, 
1902, when a fine dinner was followed with a program of toasts, including 
speeches by Dr. Kasbeer, Dr. Sitherwood, Dr. VanDervoort, Dr. Coen, Dr. 
Crigler and Dr. Jarrett. 

At the meeting held on Sept. 12, 1904, this society adopted the con- 
stitution of the state society and became affiliated with the state or- 

In October, 1903, the following officers were chosen: President, G. 
D. Sitherwood; vice-president, J. W. Kasbeer; secretary, B. M. VanDer- 
voort; treasurer, J. B. Brown. In the following year, Dr. VanDervoort 
was chosen president; J. W. Crigler, vice-president; J. S. Reece, secre- 
tary, and M. D. Young, treasurer. 

Soon after the society was organized, members from outside coun- 
ties were admitted. At the third annual banquet, responses tp toasts 
were made by Dr. Piper of Pontiac, Dr. Kasbeer, Dr. Sitherwood, Dr. 
Brown and Dr. Crigler. 

At the election of 1905, J. B. Brown was elected president; P. A. 
Pyper of Pontiac, vice-president; J. S. Reece, secretary, and M. D. Young 
treasurer. The officers in various succeeding years were as follows: 

1906 — J. W. Kasbeer, president ; O. J. Jarrett, vice-president ; S. B. 
Powers, secretary; J. G. Beesley, treasurer. 

1907 — 0. J. Jarrett, president; M. D. Young, vice-president; G. D. 
Sitherwood, secretary; R. J. Brady, treasurer. 

1908 — P. A. Pyper, president; J. S. Reece, vice-president; A. J. El- 
mer, secretary; R. J. Brady, treasurer. 

1909 — J. S. Reece, president; J. E. Long, vice-president; T. H. Smith, 
secretary; J. B. Stannard, treasurer. 

1910 — J. R. Rayburn, president; T. H. Smith, vice-president; H. G. 
McCormick, secretary; 0. J. Jarrett, treasurer. 

History of McLean County 277 

1911 — W. H. Land, president; W. L. Meyer, vice-president; H. G. 
McCormick, secretary; 0. J. Jarrett, treasurer. 

1912 — N. B. Newsome, president; George T. Moore, vice-president; 
J. W. Kasbeer, secretary; J. S. Reese, treasurer. 

1913 — A. M. Wilkes, president; J. B. Brown, vice-president; J. W. 
Kasbeer, secretary-treasurer. 

1914 — H. G. McCormick, -president; J. F. Mohan, vice-president; J. 
W. Kasbeer, secretary-treasurer. 

1915 — J. F. Mohan, president; E. R. Weart, vice-president; A. B. Lee, 

1916 — J. S. Reece, president; A. M. Wilcox, vice-president; H. C. 
Rodenhauser, secretary-treasurer. 

1917 and 1918, same officers as above. 

1919-1920 — B. L. Stevens, president; A. D. Shaffer, secretary- 

1921 — George T. Moore, president; J. F. Mohan, vice-president; J. E. 
Willman, secretary-treasurer. 

1922 — J. E. Willman, president; C. G. D. Shaddle, vice-president; 
Richard McLean, secretary-treasurer. 

In the course of its history, the society has been called upon to mourn 
the death -of some of its original members. Dr. Elmer died in 1909, Dr. 
Harry Stevenson in the same year; Dr. Brown in 1914; Dr. Mcintosh, 
the first president, in 1923. 

Twice has the McLean County Society entertained the State Dental 
Society. The first time was in May, 1903, and the second time in May, 
1918. On both occasions very successful conventions were held. 




From the very beginning of McLean County, the people have been 
intelligent and well informed in the current events of the day. This has 
been due largely to the fact that they have supported a public press which 
has at all times been marked by ability of editing and comprehensiveness 
of their scope. The county was but six years old when the first newspaper 
made its appearance in the form of the Bloomington Observer, which is 
believed to have been the pioneer newspaper not alone of this county but 
of the central part of the state. Only a very few copies of this paper are 
extant, but one of these is framed and hangs on the walls of the Panta- 
graph office at the present time, dated June 2, 1838. The caption says 
that the paper is "published every Saturday by J. W. Fell; office in the 
white house at the corner of Madison and Grove Streets." The first issue 
of the Observer was on Jan 14, 1837. William Hill was editor, while the 
printing material was owned jointly by James Allin, Jesse Fell and A. 
Gridley. After a year, Mr. Fell became editor and publisher. He contin- 
ued it until about June, 1839, when owing to hard times the paper sus- 
pended and no other was published in Bloomington until about 1846, 
when Charles P. Merriman established the Western Whig, a weekly. 
After various changes from that time to 1851, the paper became the 
property of C. P. Merriman and J. W. Fell, and a year later the name was 


History of McLean County 279 

changed to the Pantagraph, meaning "write all things." The paper lived 
through several changes in name and proprietorship, one of the names 
being the Intelligencer. Its office was first on Front Street, then on 
Main, and there it was burned out in the big fire of Oct. 16, 1855, when 
the whole block bounded by Washington, Center, Front and Main was 
consumed. After this the remnants of the office were bought by William 
E. Foots, a young printer from Keesville, N. Y. He built up a good 
plant and increased the prestige of the paper. The first issue of the 
Daily Pantagraph was on Feb. 23, 1857, William R. McCracken being 
local editor. In 1860, Mr. Foote sold out to A. J. Merriman, nephew of 
C. P. Merriman. Different men connected with the editorship and publi- 
cation of the paper from that time to 1868 were: A. J. Merriman, F. J. 
Briggs, and the firm of Steele, Carpenter & Briggs; John S. Scibird and 
Orin Watters, Thaddeus B. Packard. In 1868 the paper came under the 
management of Jesse W. Fell, William 0. Davis and James P. Taylor, con- 
tinuing to 1871, when Mr. Davis become sole proprietor. Mr. Davis con- 
tinued in sole charge until the company was incorporated under the title 
of the Daily Pantagraph, with H. 0. Davis, son of W. 0. Davis, as presi- 
dent, C. C. Marquis secretary and treasurer. The other owners of the 
stock of the corporation were the two daughters of W. 0. Davis, Mrs. 
Helen Stevenson and Mrs. Jessie F. Merwin. Among the men who served 
as editor of the Pantagraph during these years were Edward J. Lewis, 
William E. Foote, Henry B. Norton, Thomas Moore, J. H. Burnham, J. F. 
Diggs, B. F. Brigg, Edward R. Roe, William R. McCracken, William Mc- 
Cambridge, Daniel A. Ray, Joseph B. Bates, Roy H. Crihfield and Jacob 
L. Hasbrouck. The Pantagraph was Whig in politics until the organiza- 
tion of the Republican party, since which time it adhered to that party, 
with a decidedly independent attitude in political matters. The daily edi- 
tion continued with slight interruptions from 1857, and for many years 
the weekly was also published, but for the last ten years, owing to the 
circulation of the daily extending to the rural districts since rural free 
delivery came about, the weekly edition was dropped. The Pantagraph 
covers the news of the world with special attention to happenings in the 
eleven counties of central Illinois in which it circulates. Its circulation is 
about 18,000. 

The only evening newspaper in Bloomington is the Daily Bulletin, 
published by Braley & O'Donnell. The firm is composed of James F. 

280 History of McLean County 

O'Donnell, the business manager, and Mrs. Carrie P. Braley, widow of the 
late Theodore A. Braley, who was for many years its editor. The Bulle- 
tin is Democratic in politics. It was founded on Feb. 8, 1881, owned by a 
joint stock company with John H. Oberly as editor. Matthew T. Scott 
shortly afterward acquired a control of the stock and Oberly continued as 
editor. Oberly finally removed to Washington, and in 1884 Matthew T. 
Scott sold the paper to Owen Scott, who came to Bloomington from south- 
ern Illinois. Mr. Scott continued as editor until 1892, when he was elected 
to Congress and sold the paper to Braley & O'Donnell. The Bulletin 
grew in patronage and prestige under the present firm, and finally ab- 
sorbed its only evening competitor, the Daily Leader, formerly conducted 
by M. F. Leland. The Bulletin also absorbed the Sunday Eye, a weekly 
paper founded and edited for many years by George L. Hutchin and C. M. 
Leek. In 1907 the Bulletin bought a lot on Madison Street near the inter- 
urban station and erected there a modern newspaper plant which is com- 
plete in every respect. The Bulletin covers the field thoroughly and issues 
the only Sunday newspaper in McLean County. 

The other newspapers which are published in Bloomington at present 
are the Searchlight, a weekly labor paper owned and published by the 
labor unions ; the Wesleyan Argus, a weekly paper by the students of the 
Wesleyan University; the Normalite, weekly, published in Normal by 
Clarence Burner ; the Vidette, weekly, published in Normal by the students 
of the Normal University; the Bloomington Journal, a weekly published 
in the German language by John B. Gummerman. 

Newspapers by the dozens have been published for short periods in 
Bloomington and McLean County, then died of inanition and passed away. 
The Daily Leader, an evening sheet, lived from 1869 to 1899, being suc- 
cessively run by M. F. Leland, Scibird & Watters, Wilbur F. Crawfords, 
George B. Wheeler, 0. C. Mason, E. R. Morse, L. A. Cass, Verne McGil- 
vray, Owen Scott, H. C. DeMotte. It was finally merged with the Bulletin. 

The Bloomington Courier preceded the Bulletin as a Democratic or- 
gan, living from 1879 to 1881. A chronological record of the various 
papers and the years in which they flourished is as follows: 

1837, The Observer; 1845, The Register; 1846, Western Whig; 1848, 
Illinois Reveille; 1851, Bloomington Intelligencer; 1851, Illinois State Bul- 
letin; 1853, The Pantagraph; 1854, Illinois Central Times; 1855, National 
Flag, Illinois Baptist; 1856, Illinois Baptist; 1858, Illinois Statesman; 

History of McLean County 281 

1863, McLean County Echo; 1864, Central Illinois Democrat, Daily Even- 
ing Democrat; 1865, McLean County Journal; 1866, Republican, Index, 
Wesleyan; 1868, Daily Leader, Democrat, Anzeiger; 1870, Republican, Ad- 
vertiser, Alumni Journal; 1872, Banner of Holiness, Trades Review, Real 
Estate Journal; 1873, Anti-monopolist, Enterprise, Little Watchman, Illi- 
nois Schoolmaster; 1874, Sunday Morning Star; 1875, The Appeal; 1876, 
Democratic News, Western Advance, Spirit of the Grange; 1877, Sunday 
Herald, Students' Journal ; 1878, Courier, Herald of Health, Sunday Morn- 
ing Eye; 1879, McLean County Press, Bloomington Journal; 1880, Bric-a- 
Brac, Through Mail, Daily Mail; 1881, Independent, Illinois School Jour- 
nal Prohibitionist; 1881, Daily Bulletin, The Bee; 1884, Odd Fellow, The 
Pilot; 1885, The Illinois Freemason, Weekly Times, Illinois Wesleyan Mag- 
azine; 1886, The Tailor; 1888, The Vidette, Elite Journal, Greek Oracle, 
The Avenger; 1889, Real Estate Exchange, Public School Journal; 1890, 
Interstate Herald, Record, Illinois Redman, Athenian; 1891, Home Circle, 
Saturday Truth; 1892, Index, Normal School Quarterly, Quarterly Bulle- 
tin; 1893, The Chimes, Wesleyan Argus, Souvenir Echo; 1895, Trades Re- 
view, Watchtower, Wesleyana; 1896, Temperance Pulse; 1897, The Owl, 
Tribune, Aegis, Methodist; 1898, Home and School Education, Citizen at 
Work; 1900, Commonwealth; 1902 ,The Pioneer; 1918, Farm Bureau Bul- 
letin, Home Bureau Bulletin; 1923, The American Review (magazine). 

For many years the labor unions of Bloomington have published a 
weekly paper for the special advocacy of their teachings and the news of 
the field of labor from their own standpoint. This was formerly called 
the Trades Review, which had a career of several years under various 
managements. At one time, about 1895-97, it was owned and edited by 
Louis FitzHenry, who is now the federal judge of the Southern Illinois 
district. The Trades Review later was abandoned as a labor organ, al- 
though it continued to be published for some time under the management 
of W. A. Luzader. Finally, some ten years ago, the labor unions of the 
city formed a co-operative company to buy the equipment for a new weekly 
organ, which was christened The Searchlight. This paper continues up 
to the present time as the organ of the local labor unions. It was edited 
for about five years by W. H. Whitehead, and is now in direct charge of 
J. H. North. A board of censorship, from members of the different unions, 
has the general oversight of the editorial policy. 

The newspapers published in the various towns of McLean County at 

282 History of McLean County 

present and some brief mention of others which formerly were published 
and passed away are as follows: 

Chenoa — The Clipper-Times, weekly, is the only paper in Chenoa at 
present. It is owned and edited by W. H. Hawthorne, who succeeded the 
firm of Stansbury & Hawthorne. Leslie 0. Stansbury edited the Clipper- 
Times for several years, Mr. Hawthorne being in charge of the mechani- 
cal department. The Times previously had been edited by Beard Bros., 
who founded it in 1900. It was merged with the Clipper, founded in 1893 
by Verne McGilvray, then managed in succession by E. S. Pike and G. E. 
Stump until its merger with the Times. There had been an earlier Times 
in Chenoa, founded in 1867 and continuing to 1874, managed in succes- 
sion by McMurtrie & Dyer, Miss Louise Dyer, C. H. King, C. R. Shore, 
C. H. John and Bovard Bros., who changed the name to Monitor. From 
1874 it was published as the Monitor by the Bovards, C. H. John and 
Mann Bros., and the latter changed the name to Gazette. It continued- 
as the Gazette to 1900, the different managers being Mann Bros., C. H. 
Stickney, Hedge & Sons, and E. S. Pike. The latter merged the paper 
with the Gridley Herald and Chenoa Clipper, which in turn became part 
of the present Times-Clipper. 

Carlock — The Tribune, weekly, was published for ten years by J. A. 
Mace, L. B. Chapman and A. L. Chapman, discontinuing publication sev- 
eral years ago, being absorbed by the Danvers Independent. 

Arrowsmith — The News, published by Wooley Bros., Frank Wooley 
editor, is published in connection with the Saybrook Gazette, having been 
run for 15 or 20 years. 

Bellflower — John S. Harper started the Bellflower Journal, which ran 
until about 1904 with several changes of owners. 

Colfax — The weekly Press is edited by H. C. Van Alstine, who suc- 
ceeded A. E. Potts, founder of the paper about 1897. Part of the edition 
is printed under the name of Cooksville Enterprise and filled with Cooks- 
ville news. 

Danvers — The Independent, weekly, is owned and edited by A. C. 
Gingerich, who succeeded H. L. and Roy P. Stuckey, who started the 
paper in 1912. The Dispatch was the earliest paper in Danvers, being 
founded in 1879 by John S. Popple, who conducted it until about 1915, 
when it was merged with the Independent. There was an earlier paper 
also called the Independent, which was founded by Dr. D. C. Gideon and 

History of McLean County 283 

George Bunn. The Commercial, edited by J. D. Clevenger, lived from 
1898 for a few years. 

Ellsworth — The Tribune was started in 1898 and run for some time 
by N. B. Webster and Abbie Benedict. 

Gridley — The Gridley Advance is printed at Chenoa in connection 
with the Times-Clipper, with A. 0. Rupp as local editor for Gridley. The 
Advance was merged with the Chenoa paper under Stansbury & Haw- 
thorne. It was started in 1893 by C. S. Rowley. The Gridley Monitor 
flourished some years ago under Bovard Bros., then under H. 0. Hedge. 
Its name was changed to Herald before it became part of the Chenoa 

Heyworth — Natural Gas was formerly the name of the weekly pub- 
lished here by P. A. Chapman. It is now called The Star. It was founded 
by J. A. Lasswell in 1898, who was succeeded by A. 0. McDowell, who 
conducted the paper until two years ago, when Mr. Chapman acquired it. 
The Natural Gas was formerly the Heyworth Reporter, having been 
founded in 1892 by Mr. Stackhouse. The Heyworth Standard flourished 
from 1881 to 1889 under Dudley Creed, publisher, Hugh Robb, editor. 

Hudson — The Gleaner was established in 1899 by Chris C. Taylor, 
and ran for a few years, then died. 

Leroy — One paper at present is published in Leroy, being the Jour- 
nal, edited by Melvin A. Cline. Its life has continued from 1888, when it 
was founded by John S. Harper, and he was succeeded in turn by W. C. 
Devore, and J. M. Zellhoefer. The Journal is a wide-awake weekly. Leroy 
has been the scene of the temporary publication of many weekly papers, 
all having died except the Journal. As far back as 1856, James Levens 
published the Observer for a few months. John S. Harper founded the 
Sucker State in 1871 and ran it for two years. The Leroy Exchange was 
edited a couple of years in the '70's by J. W. Wolfe. Charles Davis founded 
the Enterprise in 1877 and it ran only a short time. The Eagle and the 
Free Press were two other papers started by J. S. Harper and which soon 
died. The Prohibition Statesman was run for six months in 1884, then 
sold to the Lancet in Bloomington. Rutledge and Crumbaugh were the 
owners of the Democrat, which had a short life. 

Lexington — The Unit-Journal is the only paper here, being a weekly 
owned and edited by Miss Florence E. Wright, whose father conducted it 
until his death. This paper was started in 1891 by Verne McGilvray, 

284 History of McLean County 

who sold it to E. F. Wright in 1897. There were several paper in Lex- 
ington which arose, lived and died. In the '50's the Globe was conducted 
by Batterton & Craig, then by Knotts and Mahan. It was discontinued in 
1861, and for two years, 1863-65, Isaac Mahan and John D. Rogers ran 
the Herald. The Courier, edited by J. W. Fisher, flourished from 1869 to 
1872, its name being changed to The Banner later. Rogers edited the 
Mackinaw Sentinel in 1873, and the same year E. M. King edited the En- 
terprise. The Spectator and Review were other short-lived Lexington 
papers. The Review lived from 1883 to 1891, run by Stark and Shepherd 
and later sold to McGilvray. 

McLean — The Lens is a weekly paper published here since 1880, 
owned by Crihfield Bros, of Atlanta. Various men have served as local 
editors, including Mr. Scott, D. G. Palmer, A. R. Dillman, A. M. Howell, 
R. E. Gifford and W. C. Arnold. 

Normal — The Normal Advocate, weekly, was started by John A. 
Lasswell, in 1887, then sold to E. H. Bailey and Charles S. Neeld, then to 
Neeld and J. L. Hasbrouck, then to W. A. Luzader, then to B. H. McCann 
and lastly to C. C. Lewis. The McLean County Herald was conducted for 
several years by W. A. Luzader, and the Normal Independent ran six 
months edited by Elmer Edwards and C. M. Coen. The Morning Call was 
started as a semi-weekly by A. G. Smith and sons in 1895 and ran to 1903 
under Barger Bros, and C. C. Lewis in succession. The Normalite by 
Clarence Burner is the only weekly published in Normal now. 

Saybrook — The Gazette has for several years been conducted by 
Woolley Bros, with Frank Woolley as editor. It was founded in 1896. A 
paper of the same name flourished 1881-84 under M. H. Tipton and George 
M. Adams. The News was run by Thomas Horsley 1881-84, then merged 
with Gazette under Mace & Adams; Adams sold to Mace, who ran it to 
1888 ; then to W. H. Rodman and then to Al Mace, who changed name to 
Independent. Mace Bros (J. C. and H. T.) conducted the paper to 1898, 
then sold to N. B. Webster, then to Frank Woolley. The earliest Saybrook 
paper was the News, started by J. S. Harper in 1872. The Banner, later 
the Anti-Monopolist, flourished 1872-3. The Herald was published 1875- 
91, then merged with Gazette. 

Stanford — The Star, weekly, is published by Crihfield Bros., being 
founded in 1893. F. L. Garst is local editor. 

History of McLean County 285 

Towanda — The Topic and the News were two Towanda papers which 
were edited in the '90's and early 1900. J. A. Murray was editor of the 

In addition to the newspaper and kindred publications, McLean County 
has seen the rise and progress of many other sorts of weekly and monthly 
periodicals, most of them of an educational nature. These have been 
published mostly in connection with one or another of the educational 
institutions of this county. Some of them flourished for a time, then died 
away, owing to changed conditions or the shifting of popular interest in 
the subjects treated. The members of the faculties of the State Normal 
University and the Wesleyan University have in the course of the years 
published several text-books on subjects related to their class-room work. 

The first state school journal published in Illinois appeared in Feb- 
ruary, 1855, printed in Bloomington under the title of the Illinois Teacher, 
Merriman & Norris, publishers, and edited by such educators of the time 
as W. F. M. Amy, Newton Bateman, C. E. Hovey and Simeon Wright. In 
1873 it was merged with the Illinois Schoolmaster, of which Aaron Gove 
and C. E. C. Hewett were editors. 

George P. Brown for many years carried on a successful publishing 
business for school people, and after his death his work was carried on 
an enlarged scale by his son, George A. Brown and the latter's son, Alfred 
0. Brown. It is now incorporated under the title of the Public School 
Publishing Company. The list of its publications at present includes a 
successful bi-monthly magazine of national circulation, and several school 
periodicals of national and international scope. The name of the maga- 
zine is the American Review, which was first issued in 1923. The periodi- 
cals published by this company include the Illinois Teacher, the direct suc- 
cessor of the Public School Journal and of "School and Home Education" ; 
the Journal of Educational Research, which has an international reputa- 
tion; and the Year Book of the National Society for the Study of 

Several periodicals are published in connection with the Wesleyan 
University, including the weekly Wesleyan Argus, and the year book 
called the Wesleyana. These are edited by students under direction of 
the faculty. 

The State Normal University publishes a weekly paper for students, 
called The Vidette. The year book of the university is called the Index, 


History of McLean County 

and is edited by students. The state school also issues The Alumni Quar- 
terly, which keeps the graduates of the university in touch with each other 
and with the present activities of the school. 

The Bloomington High School issues a year book under the title of 
The Aegis, which contains a summary of the work of each year as it 




A long list of distinguished names are found in the roster of the men 
who have occupied county offices in McLean County from the earliest 
times to the present. Here is the list: 

Circuit Judges — Samuel D. Lockwood, to and including May term, 
1834; Stephen T. Logan, April term, 1835; Thomas Ford, September term, 
1835; Stephen T. Ford, April and September terms, 1836; William Brown, 
April and September terms, 1837 ; John Pearson, September term, 1837 ; 
Jesse B. Thomas, May term, 1838; Daniel Stone, September term, 1838; 
William Thomas, October term, 1839; Samuel Treat, May, 1845, to Sep- 
tember, 1848 ; Theophilus L. Dickey, April term, 1849 ; David Davis, Oc- 
tober, 1849, to September, 1862; Charles Emerson, September, 1860, to 
December, 1861; Oliver L. Davis, March term, 1862; John M. Scott, De- 
cember term, 1862, to March, 1870 ; Charles Emerson, June, 1864 ; Thomas 
F. Tipton, September, 1870, to February, 1877 ; Owen T. Reeves, March, 
1877, to April, 1890; John Burnes, March, 1877; Nathaniel J. Pillsbury, 
November, 1879; Franklin Blades, February, 1881; Alfred Sample, .No- 
vember, 1886; February, 1887; September, 1889, and April, 1890; Thomas 
F. Tipton, September, 1891, to April, 1897; Alfred Sample, April term, 


288 History of McLean County 

1897, 1896; Colostin D. Myers, September, 1897, to 1915; Sain Welty, 
June, 1915, to April, 1920 ; Edward Barry, April, 1920, to present time. 

Circuit Clerks— James Allin, 1831-32; Merritt L. Covell, 1832-45; 
James T. Gildersleeve, 1845-48; William H. Allin, 1848-50; James Allin, 
Jr., 1850-51; William McCullough, 1851-62; Luman Burr, 1862-63; Ed- 
ward R. Roe, 1862-68; Robert E. Guthrie, 1868-72; Samuel F. Dolloff, 
1872-76 ; James C. McFarland, 1876-84 ; James H. Leaton, 1884-96 ; James 
C. Elder, 1896-1910 ; John C. Allen, 1912-20 ; J. Huber Allen, 1920-24. 

Sheriffs— Cheney Thomas, 1832-34; Martin Scott, 1834-40; Green B. 
Larison, 1840-42; Richard Edwards, 1842-44; William McCullough, 1844- 
48; Jonathan Glimpse, 1848-54; John J. Price, 1854-56; Joseph H. Moore, 
1856-58 ; William P. Withers, John L. Routt, 1860-62 ; Norvel Dixon, 1862- 
64 ; Henry A. Ewing, 1864-66 ; Edward M. Pike, 1866-68 ; Gustave Lange, 
1868-70; Richard Osborn, 1870-72; Henry Houscherdt, 1872-74; James 
Goodheart, 1874-78; Joseph Ator, 1878-82; Henry H. Swaim, 1882-86; 
Vinton E. Howell, 1886-90 ; William J. Bishop, 1890-94 ; James Stone, 1894- 
98; George Johnson, 1898-1902; Frank Edwards, 1902-06; A. L. Moore, 
1906-10 ; James Reeder, 1910-14 ; George R. Flesher, 1914-18 ; Ralph Spaf- 
f ord, 1918-22 ; J. E. Morrison, 1922. Sheriff Spafford resigned in the sum- 
mer of 1922 to become superintendent of the Soldiers Orphans' Home at 
Normal, and the board of supervisors appointed J. E. Morrison, a deputy, 
to the position of sheriff. In the election of November, 1922, Morrison 
was elected for a full term. 

School Superintendents — The head of the school system of the county 
was first called school commissioner. Those who served in that capacity 
were: William D.urley, 1834; Jesse W. Fell, 1836; Cheney Thomas, 1841; 
William H. Hodge, 1841 ; James B. Price, 1849 ; John M. Scott, 1852 ; C. P. 
Merriman, 1857; Daniel Wilkin, 1858; C. P. Merriman, 1863. The posi- 
tion was changed to superintendent of schools about 1865 and the incum- 
bent elected. Those who have been elected as superintendent of schools 
were: Daniel Wilkin, 1863-69; John Hull, 1869-75; William Hawley 
Smith, 1875-81 ; John A. Miller, 1881-94 ; John S. Wren, 1894-06 ; Benjamin 
C. Moore, 1906-1922 ; Mrs. Nettie B. Dement, 1922. 

State's Attorneys. — Until 1870, the state's attorney was elected for 
the judicial district. The records of the circuit court with few exceptions 

History of McLean County 289 

do not show the name of the state's attorney until 1850. They show 
Thomas Moffitt, May term, 1833; Charles E. Emerson, April term, 1836 
Jesse B. Thomas, April term, 1837 ; A. Campbell, September term, 1838 
A. Campbell, 1849-53 ; A. McWilliams, 1854-56 ; Ward H. Lamon, 1856-60 
Harvey Hogg, March term, 1861 ; W. H. Young, 1861-62 ; Robert E. Wood- 
son, March term, 1863 ; Henry S. Green, 1863-66 ; Thomas F. Tipton, 1866- 
68; Jonathan H. Rowell, 1868-72; Joseph W. Fifer, 1872-80; Robert P. 
Porter, 1880-84; Edwin H. Miner* 1884-92; John A. Sterling, 1892-96; R. 
L. Fleming, 1896-1904; William R. Bach, 1904-12; Miles K. Young, 1912- 
20 ; Lester H. Martin, 1920-24. 

County Judges. — Amasa J. Merriman from date of township organi- 
zation in 1858 to 1873; Reuben M. Benjamin from 1873 to 1886; Colos- 
tin D. Myers, 1886; Roland A. Russell, 1897-1902; 1897-1910; Homer W. 
Hall, 1910-1914; James C. Riley, 1914-1921; William C. Radliff, 1921-24. 
Judge Radliff was appointed by the governor to succeed Judge Riley in 
1921 when the latter was appointed master in chancery, and Radliff was 
elected to the position for a full term in 1922. 

Probate Judge. — Under the census of 1920, McLean County had more 
than 70,000 population, permitting the election of a probate judge in ad- 
dition to a county judge. The first election for this office was in 1922, 
when Jesse E. Hoffman was elected to the position. 

Probate Clerk. — When the probate court was established, the first 
election for a probate clerk in 1922 resulted in the election of W. Scott 
Rodman to that position. 

County Clerks. — Isaac Baker was appointed in 1831 as clerk of the 
county commissioners' court and served to September, 1839, when Bai- 
ley H. Coffey succeded him, serving to 1849. In 1849 the county court 
was organized with Coffey as clerk, serving to 1853. E. H. Rood elected 
in November, 1853, served to 1857, when township organization was ef- 
fected. The clerks of the county since that time were : William C. Hobbs, 
to 1860 ; R. L. Davis, to 1864 ; R. S. Mclntyre to 1869 ; J. W. Straight, to 
1873; R. L. Davis, to 1878; Charles W. Atkinson, to 1886; Robert Maxton, 
to 1894 ; M. H. Newton, to 1898 ; R. L. Carlock, to 1902 ; C. C. Hassler, to 
1910 ; Parmeno A. Guthrie, to 1924. 


290 History of McLean County 

County Treasurers. — Under the county commissioners the treasurers 
were as follows: Thomas Orendorff, 1831-33; David Wheeler, 1836; 
James Rains, 1837; Richard Edwards, 1838; G. B. Larison, 1839; Asahel 
Gridley, 1839-41 ; Welcome P. Brown, 1842 ; William H. Temple, 1842-52 ; 
William Thomas, 1851-58. Under township organization the county treas- 
urers from 1858 to the present time are as follows: William Thomas, 
1858-60; Thomas Fell, 1860-64; John L. Routt, 1864-68; Lewis E. Ijams, 
1868-72 ; Joseph Denison, 1872-74 ; Isaac W. Stroud, 1874-76 ; Joseph Den- 
ison, 1876-86; Lewis E. Ijams, 1886-90; J. L. Douglass, 1890-94; W. J. 
Baldridge, 1894-98; Joseph C. Means, 1898-1902; James Smith, 1902-06; 
William A. Stautz, 1906-10; Phineas Stubblefield, 1910-14; Joseph F. Rice, 
1914-18; William C. Means, 1918-22; C. C. Baldwin, 1922. 

County Recorder. — Samuel Durley, 1832-33; Isaac Baker, 1833-49; 
William H. Allin, 1849-51; James Allin, Jr., 1851-52; William McUllough, 
1852-62; Luman Burr, 1862-63; Edward R. Roe, 1863-68; Robert E. Guth- 
rie, 1868-73 ; Samuel Dolloff , 1873-77 ; James C. McFarland, 1877-80 ; Mar- 
tin H. Newton, 1880-88; Stacy Tantum, 1888-96; Matthew R. Cunning- 
ham, 1896-1904; N. B. Carson, 1904-24. 

County Surveyor — Isaac Baker, 1832-35; Elbert Dickason, 1835-40; 
M. R. Bullock, 1840-41 ; H. Noble, 1841-47 ; Nelson Buck, 1847-50 ; James 
T. Swartz, 1850-51; Peter Folsom, 1851-57; William L. Horr, 1857-60; 
John P. Healea, 1860-62; J. L. Spaulding, 1862-66; George P. Ela, 1866- 
70; W. P. Anderson, 1870-76; George P. Ela, 1876-84; A. J. McComb, 1884- 
92; Arthur H. Bell, 1892-1924. 

Coroners— Elijah Watt, 1831-35; John Kimler, 1835-36; Elijah Rock- 
hold, 1836-42; William McCullough, 1842-46; Thomas Fell, 1846-51; John 
Thrasher, 1851-54; William M. Smith, 1854-55; Angus Elder, 1855-56; 
William Matthews, 1856-64; H. S. Herr, 1864-65; Mark Ross, 1865-67; 
Luke Nevin, 1867-70; William B. Hendryx, 1870-78; D. M. Foster, 1878- 
80; William Matthews, 1880-83; Ben W. Riser, 1883-92; James F. Hare, 
1892-96; N. B. Carson, 1896-1900; J. M. Rugless, 1900-08; James F. Hare, 
1908-20; Lee McReynolds, 1920-24. 

State Senators — James Allin, Whig, 1836-40; John Moore, Democrat, 
1840-42; Robert F. Burkett, Whig, 1842-44; George W. Powers, Whig, 
1844-48; Asahel Gridley, Whig, 1848-50-54; Isaac Funk, Republican (died 

History of McLean County 291 

in office), 1862-65; William H. Cheney, Republican, 1866-68; John McNulta, 
Republican, 1868-72 ; John Cusey, Republican, 1872-76 ; John M. Hamilton, 
Republican, 1876-80; Joseph W. Fifer, Republican, 1880-84; Lafayette 
Funk, Republican, 1884-88 ; Thomas C. Kerrick, Republican, 1888-92 ; Vin- 
ton E. Howell, Republican, 1892-96; George W. Stubblefield, Republican, 
1896-1908; Frank H. Funk, Republican, 1908-12; N. Elmo Franklin, Re- 
publican, 1912-16; William H. Wright, Republican, 1916-20; Frank O. Han- 
son, Republican, 1920-24. 

State Representatives — Welcome P. Brown, Democrat, 1834-36 ; George 
Henshaw, Democrat, 1836-38; John Moore, Democrat, 1838-40; Asahel 
Gridley, Whig, 1840-42 ; Isaac Funk, Whig, 1840-42 ; Mahlon Bishop, Dem- 
ocrat, 1842-44; Andrew McMillan, Democrat, 1842-44; David Davis, Whig, 
1844-46; Matthew Robb, Whig, 1846-48; James B. Price, Democrat, 1848- 
50; John E. McClun, Whig, 1852-56; John H. Wickizer, Republican, 1852- 
56; Leonard Swett, Republican, 1858-60; Harvey Hogg, Republican, 1860- 
62; Harrison Noble, Republican, 1862-66; William M. Smith (elected 
speaker in 1871), 1866-72; Edward R. Roe, Republican, 1870-72; Warren 
C. Watkins, Republican, 1870-72; George W. Funk, Republican, 1870-72; 
Leonidas H. Kerrick, Republican, 1870-72; Archibald E. Stewart, Repub- 
lican, 1872-76; Thomas P. Rogers, Democrat, 1872-80; John Cassedy, Re- 
publican, 1872-74; John F. Winter, Republican, 1874-78; Thomas F. Mit- 
chell, Republican, 1876-84; Henry A. Ewing, Republican, 1878-80; Will- 
iam Hill, Democrat, 1880-82; George B. Okeson, Republican, 1880-82; La- 
fayette Funk, Republican, 1882-84; Samuel B. Kinsey, Republican, 1882- 
86; Ivory H. Pike, Republican, 1884-86; Frank Y. Hamilton, Republican, 
1886-88; John Eddy, Democrat, 1886-92; Ivory H. Pike, Republican, 1888- 
90; Henry L. Tarpenning, Republican, 1888-92; Edmund O'Connell, Re- 
publican, 1890-94; Bernard J. Claggett, Democrat, 1892-94; Edward Stub- 
blefield, Republican, 1892-96; James F. O'Donnell, Democrat, 1894-98; 
John L. White, Republican, 1894-96; Duncan M. Funk, Republican, 1896- 
1902 ; Arthur J. Scrogin, Republican, 1896-1902 ; Miles Brooks, Democrat, 
1898-1900 ; John F. Heffernan, Democrat, 1900-94 ; Wesley M. Owem, Re- 
publican, 1902-04; Cassius M. Coyle, Republican, 1904-08; Paul Finnan, 
Democrat, 1904-08; W. H. Wright, Republican, 1908-12; Daniel D. Dona- 
hue, Democrat, 1908-12; Frank Gillespie, Democrat, 1912-14; William 
Rowe, Republican, 1912-22; Daniel D. Donahue, Democrat, 1914-18; J. C. 

292 History of McLean County 

Harvey, Republican, 1914-16; George E. Dooley, Democrat, 1918-20; Mar- 
tin A. Brennan, Democrat, 1920-24. 

The following is the list of citizens of McLean County who have held 
offices of more or less importance in the national and state governments: 

United States Senate — Adlai E. Stevenson, Democrat, vice-president 
of the United States and presiding officer of the senate, 1892-96. 

David Davis, Independent, United States Senator, 1877-83; also act- 
ing president of the senate during the last two years of his term. 

Representatives in Congress — John McNulta, Republican, 1873-75; 
Adlai E. Stevenson, Democrat, 1875-77 ; Thomas F. Tipton, Republican, 
1877-79; Adlai E. Stevenson, Democrat, 1879-81; Jonathan H. Rowell, 
Republican, 1881-91 ; Owen Scott, Democrat, 1891-93 ; Benjamin F. Funk, 
Republican, 1893-95; John A. Sterling, 1903-13; Louis FitzHenry, Demo- 
crat, 1913-15; John A. Sterling, Republican, 1915-18; Frank H. Funk, 
1921-25. John A. Sterling met accidental death in October, 1918, and 
Frank L. Smith of Dwight was appointed to succeed him, serving until 1921. 

Diplomatic Service — James S. Ewing, Democrat, United States min- 
ister to Belgium, 1894-97. 

United States Judiciary — David Davis, Republican, justice Supreme 
Court, 1861-77; Lawrence Welson, Republican, judge of U. S. Court of 
Claims, 1883-1905; district judge of Southern Illinois Federal District, 
Louis FitzHenry, 1918 to the present time. 

Assistant Secretary of Agriculture — Carl Schurz Vrooman, 1914-19. 

Paymaster in Navy — Lewis G. Stevenson, 1917-18. 

U. S. Navy — Julius Freeman, lieutenant, 1871-84. 

U. S. Regular Army — Brig.-Gen. Harry Gore Bishop, 1905 to present 
time; Major Ralph B. Bates, 1903-23; now retired; Brig.-Gen. James G. 
Harbord, 1889-1923 ; now retired. 

U. S. Consul — John F. Winter, served at several different stations in 
Europe, 1880-90. 

United States Marshal — John L. Routt, Republican, 1869-71; Edward 
R. Roe, Republican, 1871-80. 

Assistant Postmaster General — Adlai E. Stevenson, Democrat, 1885- 
89 ; Giles A. Smith, Republican, 1869-72. 

John L. Routt, Republican, second assistant, 1871-75. 

State Officers — John Moore, Democrat, lieutenant governor, 1842-46; 
John M. Hamilton, Republican, lieutenant governor, 1881-83; John M. 

History of McLean County 293 

Hamilton, governor, 1883-85; Joseph W. Fifer, governor, 1888-92; John 
Moore, Democrat, state treasurer, 1848-57 ; James Miller, Republican, 
state treasurer, 1857-59 ; Richard Edwards, state superintendent public 
instruction, 1887-91; John M. Scott, judge Supreme Court, 1870-88; Owen 
T. Reeves, judge appellate court, 1888-91 ; Colostin D. Myers, judge ap- 
pellate court, 1903-07 ; Lewis G. Stevenson, secretary of state, 1914-17. 

Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners — Richard P. Morgan, Demo- 
crat, July 1, 1871, to March 13, 1873 ; William M. Smith, Republican, Feb. 
21, 1877, to March 8, 1883; Isaac N. Phillips, Republican, Feb. 27, 1889, 
to Jan. 18, 1893 ; James S. Neville, June 20, 1901-08. 

Supreme Court Reporter — Isaac N. Phillips, Republican, October 24, 
1894, to his death in 1910; Samuel P. Irwin, from Oct. 21, 1910, to the 
present time. 

Judge State Court of Claims — Martin A. Brennan, 1916-20. 

State Penitentiary Commission — H. H. Green, 1892-94. 

State Board of Pardons — Lewis G. Stevenson, 1913-14. 




When the cataclysm of war which had flooded Europe from the time 
of its outbreak in 1914 had finally overrun its bounds and swept across 
the Atlantic to the shores of America, in 1917, some of its waves broke 
into the farthest corners of our country. 

The awakening to the awful fact of war was somewhat slow; the 
people rubbed their eyes and for a time thought that it must be some 
horrible dream — that it could not be true. But when once aroused to 
the truth that they, too, along with the peoples of all America and the 
sorely oppressed population of Europe, were to taste the terror and suffer- 
ing, if not the actual devastation of war, they arose in spirit to the 
height of energy and sacrifice that must for many years, and even many 
generations, remain a page of their history which is glorious and unfor- 

Here are some of the things which McLean County people did toward 
the overthrow of the world menace: 

Offered some 2,500 young men as volunteers for service in the army 
and navy. 

Sent more than 2,500 more young men into service through the opera- 
tion of the draft law. 


History of McLean County 295 

Offered the very lives of more than 150 men from this county or 
former residents here, who died on battlefields, in camps and on the seas. 

Raised more than $11,000,000 in the five different liberty loan drives 
to lend to their government to prosecute the war. 

Gave some fifty or more of the leading physicians and surgeons to the 
service of the government during the war, on battle fields and camps. 

Gave a score or more of nurses to succor the wounded and sick on 
the field and in hospitals. 

Sent a half hundred men and women to the service in the work of the 
Y. M. C. A. and its allied humanitarian fields. 

Raised more than $140,000 for the work of the Red Cross in the two 
great drives of the war. 

Enlisted 14,000 men, women and children in the active membership 
of the Red Cross in this county. 

Raised some $50,000 for the work of the Y. M. C. A. in war in the 
different drives for that purpose. 

Contributed the sum of over $170,000 in the United War Work drive. 

Donated thousands of dollars for the work of the Salvation Army, 
the Jewish Welfare campaign, the Armenian Relief campaign and other 
humanitarian, projects connected with the war. 

Contributed to the use and comfort of the men in the service more 
than 441,114 articles valued at $123,000 through the work of the women 
of the Red Cross in McLean County. 

Organized the women and girls of the county into bands of tireless, 
unselfish working people whose time and strength was given without stint 
to the business of furnishing war-needed materials. 

Subscribed for more than a million dollars' worth of War Saving 
Stamps by which the thrift of the people of smaller means was promoted. 

The List of Dead. 

The list of those from McLean County who gave up their lives in the 
World War is a notable one. 

Clyde Lorranie Allison, of Lexington, died of influenza at Camp Mills 
on Oct. 24, 1918, the day after his division, the 31st, sailed for France. 

Frederick Allen, of Bloomington, died of influenza at Camp Mills, 
Oct. 18, 1918. 

296 History of McLean County 

George Herman Anna, Wesleyan student in the law school, was fa- 
tally wounded in battle on Nov. 10, 1918. 

Jesse S. Anderson, son of City Commissioner John F. Anderson, died 
of pneumonia in a hospital at Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 2, 1918. 

Harry and George Abrama, formerly of Hudson, both lost their lives. 
George died of influenza at Camp Lewis, Wash., shortly after he entered. 
Harry was killed in battle Aug. 2, 1918. Both enlisted from Montana. 

Lyle Best, Wesleyan student, died of influenza at Great Lakes naval 
station on Aug. 27, 1918. 

Corporal Ernest Benedict, of McLean, was fatally wounded at Cha- 
teau Thierry and he died July 7, 1918. 

Orville Bechtel, of near Holder, died in a hospital at Augusta, Ga., 
in October, 1918. 

Sergt. ETdie Bailey, formerly of Hudson, was killed in battle Oct. 
9, 1918. 

Howard A. Bolin, son of J. F. Bolin, of Bloomington, was killed in 
battle in France, July 20, 1918. 

Dewey Burger, of McLean, fell in action on July 19, 1918. He was 
one of four brothers who enlisted in May, 1917. 

Lieut. Hugh Bromfield, formerly of Hudson, was shot down by the 
enemy when flying over their lines near Verdun in October, 1918. 

Melvin Bossingham, of Stanford, died of influenza at Camp Mills, 
Oct. 19, 1918. 

Thomas Backhouse, of Bloomington, was killed in action on Oct. 19, 

William Frank Barnes, of Cropsey, died in a military hospital at La- 
fayette, Ind., on Dec. 9, 1918. 

Earl Brown, of Lexington, died of pneumonia at Havre, France, Oct. 
11, 1918. 

John Betton, of Gridley, died in Camp Mills, from influenza. 

G. Dooley Blue, of Bloomington, was killed in action while serving 
with a Canadian regiment. 

Lieut. Richard Boydston, of Bloomington, died on board ship while 
en route to France. 

Roy E. Crotinger, of Saybrook, died of wounds received in battle on 
Nov. 3, 1918. 




History of McLean County 297 

Charles A. Clarke, of Bloomington, died of influenza at Great Lakes 
in October, 1918. 

Eugene Conley, of Bloomington, was shot down in action Oct. 4, 1918. 

William H. Campbell, of Bloomington, lost his life in battle Oct. 9, 

Henry Campbell, of McLean, was killed in action Aug. 6, 1918. 

Roy Crutchley, of McLean, was killed in battle at St. Mihiel, Sept. 
13, 1918. 

George Carlock, formerly of Carlock, died of influenza in a Paris hos- 
pital on Oct. 22, 1918. 

Milo R. Chaney died of wounds in battle on Aug. 13, 1918. 

Thomas Cooney, of Bloomington, died of pneumonia in France in 
November, 1918. 

James Carroll, of Arrowsmith, died at Camp Grant of pneumonia, 
Sept. 27, 1918. 

David Humphrey Daniel, of Saybrook, died on shipboard on October 
21, following an attack of pneumonia. 

Lieut. Louis Eddy Davis, of Bloomington, was killed when his air- 
plane fell at Ellington field, Texas, on May 10, 1918. 

Isaiah Deckard, of Carlock, died of wounds in action in October, 1918. 

Lieut. Elmer Doocey, Wesleyan student, was killed in action on Aug. 
13, 1918. 

Bernard Davis, of Colfax, met his death in battle Sept. 28, 1918. 

Corp. John L. Dorrell, of Heyworth, lost his life in the battle of the 
Argonne, October 3. 

Chester Daniel, died of pneumonia, in France, August 10. 

William Dunlap, of Bloomington, died in a naval hospital in Brook- 
lyn, Oct. 16. 

Edward Dwyer, of Cooksville, was killed in action in August, 1918. 

Pearl Dickerson, of Leroy, was drowned in the sinking of the steamer 
Otranto, off the coast of Scotland. 

Joseph A. Erbe, of Normal, was killed in action in Aug. 7, 1918. 

William H. Eckhart, of Weston, died of pneumonia at Fort Bliss, 
Texas, on Oct. 11, 1918. 

Lieut. George H. Edwards died at Trieste, in February, 1919, after 
he had been sent there on military duty. 

Warren H. Fletcher, of Heyworth, was killed in battle Sept. 29, 1918. 

298 History of McLean County 

Corp. Lyle Fike, of Bloomington, lost his life in battle Oct. 20. 

Sergt. Charles E. Gunter, of Bloomington, died in a hospital at de 
Meucon, France, on Feb. 24, 1919. 

Earl Grant, of Bellflower, died of influenza at Jefferson Barracks on 
Oct. 18. His brother, Ervin Grant, died while with the army of occupa- 
tion in Germany, in January, 1919. 

William S. Golliday, of Lexington, died of pneumonia at Brunswick, 
N. J., Sept. 20. 

Vergne Greiner, officer in the Wesleyan student corps, died of influ- 
enza in this city, Oct. 22, 1918. 

Harry Oscar Grail, of Bloomington, was killed in the Argonne drive 
on Sept. 29. 

Joseph Hauptman, of Bloomington, was killed in action on June 6, 

Elmo Franklin Hill, of Lexington, died of pneumonia in a hospital in 
France, on Sept. 23. 

J. W. Hartley, of Normal, died of wounds in battle in France in 

Robert Hoffman, former Normal student, died of wounds in France, 
Oct. 1. 

Herbert H. Holman, of Bloomington, was accidentally killed while 
ashore at Queenstown, Ireland, on leave from his ship, in January, 1919. 

William Roy Hinthorn, of Normal, died at Jefferson Barracks, in 
January, 1918. 

Charles E. Harrison, of Chenoa, died of pneumonia in a New Jersey 

Sergt. Ralph Hoover, of Bloomington, died of pneumonia at Fort Ste- 
vent, Ore. 

William G. Haynes, of Leroy, died of pneumonia in a hospital in 

William Hensley, of near Colfax, died of wounds in battle in June, 

Matthew Holman, of McLean, died in a military hospital at Syracuse, 

Oct. 10. 

Thomas R. Helmick, of Leroy, died while serving in the regular army 
in the Philippines, Feb. 7, 1919. 

Edwin Iehl, formerly of Normal, died at Camp Mills, Oct. 14. 

History of McLean County 299 

Auda A. Humble, of McLean, died of pneumonia in France Oct. 2, 1918. 

Frank M. Jordan, of Bloomington, died of wounds in France, Nov. 11, 

Loring F. Jones was a victim of influenza at Camp Grant, Oct. 13. 

Lieut. Allington Jolly, of Cropsey, was killed in an accident while fly- 
ing an army plane at Freeport, N. Y., April 27, 1919. 

John Oscar Jenkins, of Lexington, was killed in battle in France. 

Ransom Johnson, of Bloomington, died of pneumonia at Gloversville, 
N. Y., Oct. 1. 

Lemuel Jones, Wesleyan law student, was killed in action Oct. 4. 

Louis Karl Koch, of Bloomington, was killed in battle Sept. 12. 

Ben Kaplan, of Chenoa, died of pneumonia at Jefferson Barracks, 
Oct. 7. 

Wilbur Killion was killed by a fall from a train while returning home 
to Bloomington from a southern camp. 

Albert Louis Kerber, of Colfax, died of measles in a hospital in France, 
Dec. 7, 1918. 

Ernest G. Knecht, of Bloomington, died in service at Charlestown, 
W. Va., Oct. 19. 

Clyde Kind, of Covell, died in a hospital at Great Lakes, Oct. 1. 

Leonard J. Kilgore, died of pneumonia at Gates Hospital, Chatta- 

John H. Kraus, of Danvers, was killed in battle July 18, 1918. 

Edwin C. Kitterman, of Bloomington, was killed in battle Sept. 28. 

Kline Alfred Lantz, of Downs, died of influenza at Fort Benjamin 

Fridolin C. Lanzer, of Chenoa, died at Camp Dodge, April 18. 

Leslie 0. Lash, of Bloomington, died at Walter Reed Hospital in 

Jennings Bryan Maxwell, of McLean, died at Norfolk, Va., of influ- 
enza, Oct. 2. 

Owen Gilbert Means, of Bloomington, was a victum of pneumonia at 
Great Lakes. 

Corp. Carl E. Miller, of Heyworth, was killed in battle May 18, 1918. 

Harry C. Myers, of McLean, lost his life in battle in June, 1918. 

Roy F. Mitchell, of Lexington, died at Jefferson barracks in Feb- 
ruary, 1917. 

300 History of McLean County 

Harvey C. Mishler, of Covell, died at Great Lakes in March, 1919. 

Thomas L. McVey, of Bloomington, died of pneumonia in France. 

Homer W. Mitchell, of Twin Grove, died on the hospital ship Mercy 
off coast of Virginia, Oct. 21. 

David Thomas Morgan, of Bloomington, was killed at Chateau Thierry 
in June, 1918. 

Erwin P. Mertenson, of Anchor, was killed at Belleau Woods, June 21. 

Glen Martin, of Heyworth, died in a hospital in France, in October. 

Eugene McCarthy, of Bloomington, died of influenza at Great Lakes. 

Clyde Robert Miller, of Danvers, died at Camp Grant, Oct. 9. 

Edward Maddock, of Bloomington, died of pneumonia in a hospital 
in France. 

Grant E. Metcalf, of near Bloomington, died of wounds in action 
Sept. 20. 

Ulysses Miller, of Holder, was killed in battle Oct. 20. 

Arthur Niedmeyer, formerly of Bloomington, died at the San An- 
tonio aviation field from disease in January, 1918. 

Corp. Charles E. Nelson, of Leroy, was accidentally killed while on 
duty in France, Sept. 13. 

Ruel Neal, of Leroy, was killed in action in France in September, 1918. 

Wayne Newcomb, of Saybrook, died of pneumonia with the army of 
occupation in Germany in January, 1919. 

John Lincoln North, of Gridley, died of pneumonia at Camp Mills in 

Fred O'Connor, of Bloomington, died at Camp Grant, Oct. 8, of in- 

Henry Peckmann died at Camp Funston while serving with the army 
Y. M. C. A. 

Clarence Earl Patterson, of Bloomington, died at Camp Grant Oct. 2. 

Sergt. Leslie G. Pfiffner, of Normal, lost his life in battle Sept. 26. 

William Robert Patton, of Lawndale, was killed in battle in October. 

Bud Peterson, of Bloomington, died at Camp Grant, Oct. 9, 1918. 

Capt. Hugh Mitchell Price, formerly of Bloomington, died of acci- 
dental injury at Newport News, Nov. 4. 

Henry Pietsch, of Bloomington, died at Camp Grant from influenza, 
Oct. 2. 

Willard Pierson of Bloomington died in a military hospital in France, 
Oct. 12. 

History of McLean County 301 

Herbert Quarnstrom, Wesleyan student, died of pneumonia at Camp 
Grant in April, 1918. 

Lee J. Roebuck of Bloomington was killed when his airplane fell at 
Deseronto, Canada, where he was in training, Oct. 20, 1917. 

Alfred Ross of Heyworth died of pneumonia at Great Lakes, Sept. 28. 

Maurice Musick Roberts, Wesleyan corps student, died of pneumonia 
on Oct. 17. 

Howard Rodman of Bloomington died of pneumonia at Hoboken, 
Oct. 10. 

Sergt. Wesley Ruyle of Bloomington was killed in the Argonne drive. 

Harry Rusmisell of Stanford died of pneumonia at Havre, France. 

John M. Redd of Bloomington, was killed in battle in October. 

John E. Shreck of Gridley was a victim of pneumonia at Camp Sheri- 
dan, Ala. 

Fred Skinner of Bloomington died in a hospital at Glasgow, Scotland. 

Earl Spencer of Bloomington died of wounds in battle Sept. 25. 

Sergt. Jesse G. Spence of Bloomington died of pneumonia at Quan- 
tico, Va. 

Benedict J. Roth of Chenoa died of pneumonia in France. 

Earl T. Smith of Cooksville died at Camp Taylor from pneumonia. 

William and Melvin Savage, formerly of Dawns, lost their lives, 
William being drowned when he fell from a ship at Norfolk, and Melvin 
dying when he came home to attend his brother's funeral. 

George R. Simons of Normal died in a hospital at Brest, France, 
Oct. 9. 

Edmund W. Sutherland of Bloomington died of influenza at Camp 
Grant, Oct. 7. 

Clayton Sholty of Bloomington died at Jefferson Barracks on Feb. 
10, 1918. 

Archie F. Stewart of Randolph died on board ship from pneumonia 
and was buried at sea on Sept. 26, 1918. 

Walter C. Seeger of Bloomington was killed in battle Oct. 15. 

Sergt. David B. Stevenson, was killed in action Nov. 4, 1918. 

Charles F. Smith of Gridley died of wounds in action. 

William Stroh of Anchor died at Camp Mills from influenza, Oct. 18. 

Charis Streenz of Bloomington died at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 
Oct. 18. 

302 History of McLean County 

Harley B. Salzman died in France on January 25, 1918, in a military 

Elmer Steffen of Cropsey died at home just after he had been dis- 

Alva H. Smith of Carlock died in a Liverpool hospital Oct. 20. 

Herbert Schroeder of Bloomington died in a hospital at Baltimore in 
October, 1918. 

Frank M. Thoennes of Bloomington died of influenza in a hospital in 

Leo Sherburn of Bloomington was killed in battle in October. 

Van Todd of Danvers was killed in battle in Sept., 1918. 

Alva Roy Ulmer of Anchor died at Camp Mills Oct. 21, from pneu- 

Remi Vereecke of Bloomington was a victim of pneumonia at Camp 
Servier, S. C. 

George Gray Wheelock of McLean died at Camp Grant from pneu- 

Maurice Wakefield of Heyworth died in S. A. T. C. service at Iowa 
Ag. college. 

Rudolph D. Watt of Leroy died of tuberculosis in France in Jan., 

Clarence Weakley of Lexington died in a hospital at Hoboken, Jan. 
19, 1919. 

Louis Weiler died while serving in the merchant marine in Dec, 1918. 

Edwin Wendell of near Bloomington was killed in battle June 7, 1918. 

Bud Williams was killed in action in September. 

John R. Wilson of Danvers died at Fort Wright in April, 1918. 

John T. Wakefield of Heyworth died of pneumonia on the U. S. S. 
Maine on Oct. 2. 

Howard Wiley of Danvers died from pneumonia at Great Lakes 
Oct. 8. 

Warren K. Webber of Arrowsmith died in Washington Oct. 15. 

Fred Wampler of Arrowsmith died at Fort Riley March 30, 1918. 

Charles Theodore Witt of Arrowsmith died at Camp Mills, Oct., 10. 

Sergt. Edwin D. Waltmire of McLean was killed in action July 19. 

Leo Vincent died from the result of war exposures, although his 
death did not take place until in April, 1920, after long suffering. 

History of McLean County 303 

The Draft Boards. 

The war had been in theoretical progress only for a few months, when 
the Congress of the United States saw that some kind of a general military 
service law would become a necessity ; to summon the man power of the 
country to the call of duty. Accordingly the so-called draft law was passed 
by the Congress in May, 1917, and the date of June 5, 1917, was set for the 
time when all the men of the nation between the ages of 21 and 31 should 
register in their respective homes as subject to military call. On the date 
mentioned, there were 5,800 young men registered in the various prcincts 
of McLean County. McLean County was divided into two districts, one 
including the city of Bloomington together with Allin and Dale Townships ; 
the other district to include all of the county court ; chairman of city board 
No. 2, Judge Sain Welty, including most of the county precincts was known 
as No. 1 and the city district No. 2. The personnel of the two boards ap- 
pointed for these respective districts was as follows: 

Exemption Board No. 1 — Chairman, C. R. Ewins, of Danvers ; clerk, 
Dr. B. F. Elf rink, of Chenoa ; Isaac Murphy, of Leroy ; chief clerk, Reube 
B. Prothero; assistant clerk, Mrs. Edward A. Mott; soldier member, John 
Farley ; stenographer, Miss Dorothy Mason. 

Exemption Board No. 2 — Chairman, Judge Colostin D. Myers, Bloom- 
ington; secretary, H. M. Murray, Bloomington medical examiner, Dr. E. 
Mammen; chief clerk, Ralph Freese; assistant clerk, Miss Loretta Grady; 
soldier member, Thomas J. Shanahan. 

Local Advisory Board — Chairman of board No. 1, Judge J. C. Riley, 
of the country court ; chairman of city board No. 2, Judge Sain Welty, 
of the circuit court. 

Medical Advisory Board— Dr. B. F. Elf rink, of Chenoa ; Dr. E. Mam- 
men, of Bloomington ; clerk, Walter P. Prenzler. 

Instruction Board — Capt. C. B. Hamilton, chairman. 

McLean County Red Cross — At a meeting of the Civic League of 
Bloomington early in June, 1915, Mrs. N. D. McKinney, president of the 
Woman's Club, presented the subject of organizing a Red Cross Chapter in 
Bloomington. The suggestion met with cordial approval, and action was 
taken authorizing the chairman, E. M. Evans, to appoint a committee to 
take preliminary steps toward that end. That evening Dr. E. Mammen, 
Mrs. G. S. McCurdy, Mrs. E. R. Morgan, Mrs. N. D. McKinney, and E. M. 

304 History of McLean County 

Evans paid their membership fee, the necessary one-half of which was 
sent to the Red Cross director, in Chicago, with application for permission 
to organize a chapter. After a number of memberships had been enrolled 
which made the organization of a chapter appear feasible, the committee 
appointed by the Civic League called a meeting to be held at the public 
library on July 27. At this meeting a board of twelve directors was elected, 
Dr. Mammen appointed temporary chairman and Mrs. McKinney, tempo- 
rary secretary. 

The officers were not elected until the meeting of Dec. 5, 1915, when 
the following were chosen: Chairman, Campbell Holton; first vice-chair- 
man, C. F. Agle; second vice-chairman, B. F. Harber; secretary, Alice 0. 
Smith ; treasurer, Frank D. Marquis. Miss Smith served as secretary until 
May, 1916, when she resigned and was succeeded by Mrs. McKinney. 

During May and June, 1916, a campaign for members was conducted 
under the leadership of Dr. C. M. Noble. In July, 1916, a charter mem- 
bership of 174 was sent to Washington and a charter granted. 

The chairman and treasurer of the chapter, Mrs. N. D. McKinney, 
served since 1915; the secretary since May, 1916; the two vice-chairmen 
since October, 1917. 

Campbell Holton, chairman, president of Campbell Holton & Co., 
wholesale grocers. He has been prominent in Y. M. C. A., the Blooming- 
ton Association of Commerce, Rotary Club and other community activities. 

Davis Ewing, vice-chairman, president of the Davis Ewing Concrete 
Co., has been president of the Rotary Club and active in civic affairs. 

E. M. Evans, vice-chairman, president of the Association of Commerce 
in 1919 and 1920; served two years as president of the. Civic League and 
connected with other community organizations. 

F. D. Marquis, treasurer, president of the People's Bank and a leading 
man in business circles. 

The personnel of the county branches of the Red Cross were com- 
posed of many of the leading men and women of their several communities. 
Shipments by McLean County Chapter to Bush Terminal and Central 
Division from May 21, 1917, to June, 1919: 

Surgical dressings 331,732, value $ 11,262.68 

Hospital garments 39,091, value 20,152.03 

Hospital supplies 32,106, value 5,642.94 

Refugee garments 7,971, value 7,081.11 

History of McLean County 305 

Comforts _ 5,408, value 1,744.05 

Knitted articles 24,806, value 77,256.50 

Totals 441,114, value $123,139.31 

The French, Belgian-Allied Relief Association carried on strenuous 
work in relief ways from the fall of 1917, to March 28, 1919, when it filed 
its final report. The officers of this association were as follows: Presi- 
dent, Mrs. G. B. Read ; first vice-president, Mrs. H. S. Eckhart ; second 
vice-president, Mrs. A. W. Anderson; secretary, Mrs. F. C. Cole; treas- 
urer, Mrs. W. L. Moore; directors, Mrs. Kate Brown, Mrs. R. C. Baldwin, 
Mrs. Charles Brokaw, Mrs. David Davis, Mrs. Alonzo Dolan, Mrs. C. B. 
Detrick, Mrs. Ralph D. Fox, Mrs. J. T. Johnson, Mrs. Anna B. Wade, Mrs. 
K. D. Welch, Mrs. Louise Robinson. 

Liberty Loan Campaigns. — The people of McLean County loaned to 
the federal government during the war a total of about $11,000,000 of 
their money to help bring ultimate victory. This great sum was the pay- 
ment on liberty bonds bought by the people of the county during five dif- 
ferent drives which the government put on at different times, averaging 
in a rough way about six months apart during the period of American 
participation in the war. This huge total was nearly thirty times the 
cost of the court house of the county which was built just after the 
great fire. 

By subscribing its portion to the Victory Loan in 1919, McLean 
County did two things worthy of its name and its august history. It 
oversubscribed the last of the great war drives, the campaign that brought 
the boys home. And it also raised a sufficient sum to make the total 
pledges of five loans greater than the combined quotas of those loans. 
Thus McLean County was more than 100 per cent in its financial aid to 
the war. It defies reproach. It has maintained his historical prestige 
of sound sense, integrity and patriotism. Here are the figures that show 
the financial war history of McLean County: 

Loan Quota Subscription 

First $ 1,300,000 $ 800,000 

Second 1,700,000 1,200,000 

Third 1,762,000 3,000,000 

Fourth 3,676,000 3,805,000 

"Victory" 2,866,900 2,885,900 

Grand total _ _$11,305,900 $11,690,900 


306 History of McLean County 

Food Conservation. — To any one who read the newspapers during the 
first few months of 1917, it was apparent that when the United States de- 
clared war on Germany, there would be some sort of organized campaign 
for food conservation in this country. The question of food had become 

The prompt action of Bloomington and McLean County women in 
organizing to meet this need will always be one of the greatest matters 
of pride to this county. During the latter part of April, just after our 
declaration of war, Mrs. Spencer Ewing went before the officers of the 
McLean County Chapter Red Cross, and offered her services for any 
work in food conservation that might be taken up. The offer was at 
once accepted, and thereafter during the whole period of the war and 
reconstruction months that followed, Mrs. Ewing was county leader in 
food conservation. 

Throughout the emergency, the food conservation work of McLean 
County was done equally through the Red Cross committee and the Wom- 
an's Committee, C. N. D., and reports were made to both organizations. 

In May, 1917, forty-five groups for the study of new problems that 
confronted housewives,' were organized. 

It was during the fall of 1917 that agitation for employment of a 
home adviser was first begun here, Mrs. Ewing, Mrs. Frank W. Benjamin, 
and other leaders in household science work, initiating the movement. 

A permanent organization called the Home Improvement Associa- 
tion was formed in April. It had a membership of 1,500 women from all 
over the county, each paying $1 per year toward its support. The gov- 
ernment likewise paid $1,500 per year. There was a director in each town- 
ship, who stood for food conservation in his community. In June th( 
home adviser began work. She was Miss Clara R. Brian, formerly of 
San Jose. 

Women in the Service. — Of the women of McLean County who were 
in the army service, either as attaches, of the Red Cross or nurses other- 
wise, the following are well worthy of especial credit : 

(Serving overseas) : 

Miss Alice O. Smith, Normal; Miss Florence Schreiner, Bloomington; 
Miss Carolyn Schertz, Bloomington; Miss Ethel Irwin, Bloomington; Miss 
Catherine Smith, Bloomington; Miss Fannie E. Woodbury, Bloomington; 

History of McLean County 307 

Miss Virginia Langley, Bloomington; Miss Charlotte Bender, Blooming- 
ton; Miss Mary Agnes Burke, Bloomington; Miss Mable Brust, Bloom- 
ington ; Miss Bessie Moon, Bloomington ; Miss Mary Sheridan, Bloomington. 

List of Army nurses and others who served in camps in the States: 

Miss Alice Markland, Ft. Sam Houston. Bloomington. 

Miss Emily Ransom. Bloomington. 

Miss Ruth Maxwell, Walter Reid Hosp., D. C. Bloomington. 

Miss Charlotte Ross, Camp Shelby, Miss. McLean, 111. 

Miss Eva Ely, Camp Shelby, Miss. Bloomington. 

Miss Florence Johnson, Camp Shelby, Miss. Normal, 111. 

Miss Mary Mortimore, Camp Shelby and Ft. McHenry, Bloomington. 

Miss Grace Gaines, Ft. Oglethorpe. Bloomington. 

Miss Evelyn Worley, Ft. Oglethorpe. Bloomington. 

Miss Sarah Wells, Camp Grant, 111. Bloomington. 

Miss Bertha Duff, Camp Grant. Bloomington. 

Miss Anna Miller, Camp Grant. Bloomington. 

Miss Edna Smiley, Camp Grant. Bloomington. 

Miss Bertha Dunn, Camp Grant and Fort Snelling. Lexington. 

Miss Arne A. Allen, Camp Dix. Bloomington. 

Miss Margaret O'Reilly, Camp Dix. Bloomington. 

Miss Amy L. Clark, Camp Wadsworth, S. C. Bloomington. 

Miss Myrtle Crum, Camp Gordon, Ga. Bloomington. 

Miss Clara Mann, Walter Reid Hosp., Tacoma Park, D. C. Bloom- 

Miss Beulah Leuberman, Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga. and Walter Reid Hospi- 
tal, D. C. Bloomington. 

Miss Amelia Hughes, Ft. Thomas, Ky. Bloomington. 

Miss Opha Wren, Bloomington. A. E. F. 

Miss Margaret Merwin, Bloomington. A. E. F. 

McLean County Council of Defense. — One of the most important 
chapters in the history of the World War, is the part taken by the McLean 
County Council of Defense. It is but common justice to pay tribute to 
the patriotic body which performed its mission so unobtrusively and 
without ostentation and yet which was one of the most efficient and essen- 
tial organizations of the nation. In the vast work of unification, in the 
carrying from Washington to the people, the messages and measures of 

308 History of McLean County 

the national government and in the transmission back to Washington of 
the moods and aspirations of a people at war, the council of defense sys- 
tem with its more than 180,000 units set down in every county of the 
country, played a definite, stirring, and highly fruitful part. Launched 
May 2, 1917, the Council of National Defense forged into action immedi- 
ately. The McLean County organization was as follows: 

Mayor E. E. Jones, chairman; B. F. Hiltabrand, secretary; R. C. 
Baldwin, John Normile, W. T. Wolcott, D. G. Fitzgerald, J. J. Condon, 
and Elmo Franklin, directors. This board appointed the numerous com- 
mittees divided by chairmen. 

County Food Administration — Only a few weeks after America's en-, 
try into the war, the Bloomington Association of Commerce was asked 
by Harry A. Wheeler, Federal Food Administrator for Illinois, to appoint 
an Administrator who should select a committee of four to co-operate 
with him in representing our Government in handling all questions that 
might arise on this subject. 

R. C. Baldwin, president of the Association of Commerce, went to 
Howard Humphreys along in September of 1917, stating that as he was 
looked upon as the dean of the grocery business in this section, he felt 
that Mr. Humphreys should accept this appointment, which he immedi- 
ately did, wiring Mr. Wheeler that he would give it the best attention 
possible and be very careful in the selection of the Conference Committee. 
Accordingly he made the following appointments of men who, though 
very busy in their affairs, accepted them and pledged their support and 
co-operation : 

President David Felmley, of Normal University. 

John J. Morrissey, Attorney. 

D. O. Thompson, County Farm Advisor. 

Mrs. J. M. Patterson, President of the Woman's Union Label League. 

A few weeks later, Mr. Humphreys was asked to become a member 
of the State District Board. J. J. Thomassen was appointed county food 
administrator for McLean County. A county food administration was 
completed in February, 1918. After a few weeks of very active service, 
Mr. Thomassen was obliged to resign the position, and Mr. Hal M. Stone 
accepted the appointment of County Food Administrator. Charles O'Mal- 
ley gave him very valuable assistance in handling one of the most im- 

History of McLean County 309 

portant features at that time, the question of sugar distribution, and 
regulations of the quantity to be sold. In this respect, Mr. O'Malley was 
acing as County Food Administrator and was sworn in as such. 

These arrangements continued until December, 1918, when practi- 
cally all restrictions were withdrawn and the activities of the Food Ad- 
ministration ceased. 

Fuel Administration — Restrictions on the use of fuel became more 
drastic from time to time during the late fall and early winter of 1917-18. 
The climax was reached when the order was issued for the closing of all 
manufacturing plants except those making food supplies for a period of 
five days, from Jan. 18 to 22, inclusive, of 1918. At the same time the 
order was issued that all retail stores except food stores should be closed 
one day each week for a period of five weeks. Monday was chosen as 
closing day. 

With the work of the strenuous winter of 1917-18 past, Mayor Jones 
resigned from the chairmanship of the local fuel committee, and Spencer 
Ewing, who had served as secretary, was named in his place. His work 
in charge of the local situation continued through the spring of 1918, and 
plans were outlined for a campaign among the people for the next season 
which would prevent the fuel shortage of the previous winter. On May 1, 
1918, Mr. Ewing was called to Chicago as director of state requirements 
in the Illinois office of the U. S. fuel administration. He served in that 
capacity until August 1 of that year, being in charge of fuel distribution 
for the State of Illinois outside of Chicago. 

Bertram A. Franklin was named as head of the McLean County fuel 
administration when Mr. Ewing was called to Chicago. He continued 
the work until and after the close of the war, for the signing of the armis- 
tice did not end the existence of the fuel administration. Mr. Franklin 
finally received his instructions in January, 1919, to close his office on 
Feb. 1, which was accordingly done, and the fuel administration passed 
out of existence. 

Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord — It was an honor to McLean County in 
connection with the World War that one of the men highest in the coun- 
cils of the military expedition in Europe was a man who had his birth and 
youth in this county, and who retained his friendship and acquaintances 
here, returning for a visit in person after he returned victorious from the 


History of McLean county 

world struggle. He was Gen. James G. Harbord, who went to Europe in 
1917 as chief of staff to Gen. John J. Pershing, the commander in chief 
of the A. E. F. and who later became the chief of the American Service 
of Supply, which kept the lines of fighting men fed with munitions and 
rations in the great campaigns which they carried on in the summer and 
fall of 1918. 

General Harbord was born in Blooming Grove Township in 1866. His 
parents were Mr. and Mrs. George Harbord, well known McLean County 
residents a half century ago. The family later moved to Saybrook, thence 
to Missouri and then to Kansas, where General Harbord graduated from 
the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1886. 

During his life in McLean County, General Harbord attended the Irv- 
ing school in Bloomington. 

The Four-Minute Men — The committee of public information at Wash- 
ington on Oct. 15, 1918, appointed C. B. Hughes, a well-known attorney, 
as chairman of the Four-Minute Men of McLean County. 

Medals for making more than 10 speeches during Liberty Loan 
Campaigns were given to James C. Riley, Edmund O'Connell and C. B. 
Hughes. C. B. Hughes spoke 142 different times in county during war 
on war subjects. 




Within fifteen months after the armistice in 1918, when the service 
men and women had returned from their war service, there were many 
posts of the American Legion organized in McLean County. The idea of 
this organization had its inception with a group of U. S. army officers in 
Paris in February, 1919, when they met to study the problems of the 
return of the soldiers to civil life. 

Following the caucus of veterans in Paris, France, early in 1917, a 
similar caucus was held in St. Louis, Mo. Thomas Fitch Harwood, of 
Bloomington, was selected as delegate to the first caucus in this country. 
Immediately after his appointment he called for service men of this 
county to accompany him to St. Louis. Ben S. Rhodes and R. M. O'Con- 
nell attended the meeting. The aim and purpose of the American Legion 
was outlined and drawn into a temporary constitution, which was adopted. 

The name "Louis E. Davis" was selected by a committee composed 
of T. F. Harwood, James D. Foster and Oscar G. Hoose. Their report 
included the following: "He was the first man of his class in camp to 
qualify as a reserve military aviator, and on the day of his death was 
then completing his bombing course, at that time the most advanced in 
aviation. At the time of his death he was preparing for overseas service. 
The remains of Louis E. Davis were buried with military honors in the 


312 History of McLean County 

Evergreen cemetery, Bloomington. It is fitting and proper that this organ- 
ization gathering within its ranks those who gave and sacrificed for the 
freedom of country and mankind should honor itself by the choice of such 
a name." 

The first officers of the organization elected Jan. 15, 1920, were: Past 
Commander, Charles P. Kane; Commander, Harry L. Howell; Vice-Com- 
mander, Thomas Ivan Costigan; second Vice-Commander, Miss Grace 
Gaines; Chaplain, Rev. William B. Hindman; Adjutant, James D. Foster; 
Sergeant-at-Arms, Albert S. Coomer; Executive Committee: Charles P. 
Kane, F. Carlyle Willey, Oscar G. Hoose, James Owen, Len L. Hogan and 
John J. O'Connor. In a later meeting Ralph Morath was elected finance 
officer. William B. Geneva was elected historian. 

The Louis E. Davis Post, American Legion of Bloomington which 
occupies spacious quarters in the McBarnes' Memorial building, is the 
largest post in Illinois, having a roster of about 1,000. 

The increase in membership of the Louis E. Davis Post is the result of 
the steadily growing current of sentiment in favor of the Legion in 
this locality, which began in 1919 when Charles P. Kane was appointed 
temporary commander, and continued to increase throughout the admin- 
istration of Dr. Harry L. Howell who served for two years. His leader- 
ship was supplemented by that of Fitch Harwood in 1922. It has been 
through the ceaseless and united effort of the entire membership that 
the membership campaign has been brought to such a sussessful cul- 

During the past three years, a great amount of effort, particularly 
through the service department, has been made in taking care of the 
claims against the government for compensation insurance, bonuses, voca- 
tional training and hospitalization for unfortunate members and also for 
ex-service men generally who happened to be in need. 

During this period of time, although no record has been kept, from 
requests and claims have been recorded and thousands of dollars and 
innumerable cases of relief have been brought to the unfortunates through 
the efforts of the post. 

Along similar lines the Post has expended thousands of dollars which 
it has been able to amass through the good will of the people, in render- 
ing service of various kinds, such as medicine, food, clothing, rent, etc., 
for ex-service men generally who have been found to be in need. The Post 

History of McLean County 313 

has endeavored to exercise care and caution in the distribution of this 
fund and have assisted only those who were really deserving. 

The McLean County Board of Supervisors have generously co-oper- 
ated, setting aside a fund annually for the assistance necessary in such 
cases. Hundreds of transients who I ecame stranded here have been 
helped from time to time. 

One of the outstanding achievements of the Post during the past 
year has been the acquisition of a burial ground at the Park Hill Ceme- 
tery which has been contracted by the Fost for the sum of approximately 
$2,300. The site is located at the southeast corner of the cemetery and 
will be set apart exclusively for the bursal of ex-service men, who at the 
time of their death, are eligible to membership in the Legion. The burial 
space will accommodate 303 graves and a site for a monument. It is lo- 
cated in full view of the Illinois boulevard and is a most beautiful spot. 
Five bodies are already buried there. 

The Kiwanis Club of Bloomington voted to turn over the proceeds 
of their summer chautauqua toward the purchase of this burial ground. 
The site is set apart from the rest of the cemetery by means of parkways 
and shrubbery. 

The local Post of the American Legion was, in a large measure, re- 
sponsible for the culmination of the wishes of John McBarnes in the 
erection of the McBarnes Memorial. It was through the activities of the 
Post that the plan was presented to Mr. ^ iarnes which resulted in the 
present structure. The lease for the site /as secured for the supervisors 
by the Post on condition that a building t ,'itable to the desires of Mr. Mc- 
Barnes be erected thereon. 

During the regime of Mr. Harwood, the state department of the 
American Legion of Illinois was persuaded to change its headquarters 
from Springfield to Bloomington and this arrangement was subsequently 
made permanent by constitutional amendment. The state department 
and the local post have co-operated in every way possible for the benefit 
of the organization. The local post by its fair dealing secured the good 
will and hearty co-operation of all the civic bodies and the public gener- 
ally and has always maintained a high standard of ideals in all their 
dealings. The Post always endeavored to be fair with the masses as well 
as the classes and in this way has merited the good will of all. 

314 History of McLean County 

The local Post was also active in getting the $50,000 appropriation 
for the hospital at the Soldiers' Orphans' Home. The Post also adopted 
and are sponsoring two troops of Boy Scouts at the Home. 

The officers of the Post are: Commander, Oscar J. Hoose; First 
Vice-Commander, Edward A. Donnelly; Second Vice-Commander, Cath- 
erine S. Brooks; Finance Officer, C. E. Dimmett; Adjutant, Paul Gott- 
schalk; Service Officers, Harry Riddle, Wayne Townley, H. A. Rhodee; 
Executive Committee: Charles P. Kane, H. L. Howell, T. F. Harwood, 
C. E. Yeager, Dudley Smith, Wayne Townley, W. C. Murphy, E. A. Don- 
nelly, Ben S. Rhodes and T. D. Carroll. 

The present Commander is Kay win Kennedy, and the present Adju- 
tant is Erwin Albee. 

First permanent officers of the Women's Auxiliary to the Louis E. 
Davis Post 56 were: President, Mrs. Irma Greiner; Vice-President, Mrs. 
Thomas B. Foster; Secretary, Miss Ina Rhodes; Treasurer, Mrs. Louis 
Wollrab ; Executive Committee, Mrs. J. A. Goodwin, chairman ; Mrs. Harry 
Howell, Miss Winifred Elliott, Mrs. W. W. Gailey. 

Numerous other posts of the American Legion later came into being 
after the first post formation in Bloomington, including Ruel Neal, Le- 
Roy; Erwin Martensen Post, Anchor; Ben Roth Post, Chenoa; Elmo F. 
Hill Post, Lexington ; Benedict-Crutchley Post, McLean ; David Humphrey 
Daniel Post, Saybrook; Grant Post, Bellflower, and Saybrook Post 427, 

Committees from the Louis E. Davis Post 56, organized the Steven- 
son-Lewis Post 556, of the American Legion, as the second post in Mc- 
Lean County, which was solely for former service persons of the colored 
race. Lincoln Page was named as temporary chairman, and started the 
organization safely on its course. 

Ruel Neal Post was named in honor of Ruel Neal, the first LeRoy 
boy to lose his life in the war, he being killed in action, in a front line 
trench on the Meuse river on October 2, 1918. The officers of the Post 
first elected were: Commander, Dr. 0. M. Thompson; Vice-Commander, 
Herman L. Thomas; Adjutant, R. E. Kimler; Finance Officer, Miles C. 
Grizzelle; Chaplain, Rev. H. R. Browne; Sergeant-at-Arms, Charles Bane. 
The present officers of Ruel Neal Post are : Commander, Dr. Owen Thomp- 
son; Adjutant, J. K. Kincaid. 

History of McLean County 315 

David Humphrey Daniels Post, named in honor of the first soldier 
from Saybrook to give up his life in the war, had the following officers: 
Commander, Cecil Rhodes Hudson ; Vice-Commander, Fred G. Cary ; Treas- 
urer, Roy Return Cheney; Adjutant, Ora Francis LaTeer. The present 
Commander is Fred G. Gary; Adjutant, Earl Crotinger. 

The organization of Ben Roth Post No. 234, took place at Chenoa in 
May, 1919. It was named in honor of Ben Roth, a Chenoa soldier who 
died in France. There are about sixty-five members of this Post, and 
they have been active in promoting the interests of the soldiers, giving 
several entertainments, maintaining teams in athletic sports and other 
activities: The officers were: Commander, Pierre Turck; Vice-Com- 
mander, Frank Hogan; Adjutant, Calvin R. Gentes. The present Com- 
mander is Dr. L. V. Daniels; Adjutant, Joseph Watchinski. 

Erwin Martensen Post No. 164, at Anchor was named in honor of 
a soldier from that community who was killed in action. The post is 
one of the newer ones, being organized in 1920. The officers are: Com- 
mander, Henry L. Simpson ; Service Officer, John A. Schmidt ; Finance 
Office, Joe Garrett; Adjutant, Albert Brandt. The present Commander 
is Arthur Gantz; Adjutant, August Brandt. 

Burger-Benedict Post No. 973, of the American Legion, was formed 
at McLean at a meeting held on Feb. 26, 1920. It was named from Dewey 
Burger and Ernest Benedict, two McLean boys who were killed in battle 
in France. The officers elected were: Commander, C. R. Van Ness; 
Vice-Commander, Ray A. Bowers; Past Commander, Ansel Stubblefield; 
Adjutant, Grant V. Wilcox; Finance Officer, Martin W. Hildebrandt; Ser- 
geant-at-Arms, Otto Humble ; Service Office, George N. Snyder ; Historian, 
George Benedict; Chaplain, Dan McFarland; Athletic Officer, Harry Mat- 
thews. At present the Commander is Lyle E. Wilcox; Adjutant, Martin 
W. Hildabrant. 

A post was organized at Colfax in June, 1920, and was named the 
Davis-Kerber Post in honor of Bernard Davis of Martin Township who 
was killed in action, and Albert Kerber, who died of pneumonia in France. 
The officers elected were as follows: Commander, Reid Horney; Vice- 
Commander, Fred Scholl; Finance Officer and Adjutant, C. R. Steven- 
son; Sergeant-at-Arms, Edsell B. Downey. The Commander in 1923 was 
Smith McHatton; Adjutant, Roy Stevens. 

316 History of McLean County 

Gridley Post No. 218 was organized in 1919 with the following offi- 
cers: Post Commander, Lynn C. Sieberns; Adjutant, Everett F. Kent; 
Sergeant-at-Arms, John D. Rediger. The present Commander is Ever- 
ett F. Kent, the Adjutant, McKinley Benedict. 

Elmo Hill Post at Lexington is among the larger and more active 
posts in McLean County, with a big membership and enterprising officers. 
This post has engineered several affairs for the good of the service men 
of Lexington and the general public. The present Commander is Elmer 
J. Roy; the Adjutant, A. E. Pritt. 

Danvers Post is well represented with the service men of that com- 
munity. The Commander is George A. Kraus, and the Adjutant, Morris 

Grant Post No. 202, at Bellflower, was named in honor of Earl and 
Erwin Grant, sons of Richard Grant, both of whom gave up their lives 
in the war. Earl died in Jefferson Barracks, and Erwin died in France 
after the close of the war, when he was returning with his regiment from 
Germany. The first officers of the post were: Commander, S. W. Haig- 
ler; Senior Vice-Commander, J. Warner Carlyle; Finance, A. G. Gooch; 
Adjutant, B. F. Hinshaw; Service Officer, DeWitt R. Gooch, III; Ser- 
geant-at-Arms, John Jensen. The present Commander is Levi Barnhart; 
the Adjutant, Harry Shornick, Jr. 

The Witt-Webber-Carroll Post at Arrowsmith was named after James 
Carroll, Warren K. Webber, and Charles T. Witt, all Arrowsmith boys 
who lost their lives in the war. The present principal officers are: Com- 
mander, Elmer Paxton; Adjutant, Glenn Raney. 

Corporal Carl Miller Post at Heyworth was organized in 1920 and 
flourished for a few years, but at this writing it was not active. The of- 
ficers at its last election were: Commander, Elmer L. Bell; Adjutant, 
Donald Cruikshank. 

Cropsey Post was named for William F. Barnes, who died in the war. 
The present officers are: Commander, Meedie Buck; Adjutant, Harvey 
L. Meeker. 

Redd-Williams Post in Bloomington was made up of colored ex-service 
men, and the officers are: Paul Turlington, Commander; Taylor Cisco, 
Ad j utant. 

There was organized in Bloomington during the winter and spring 
of 1920 a local post of World War Veterans, an organization composed 

History of McLean County 317 

of service men as its name indicates. It was named the Hauptman, 
Morgan, Conley Post, from the name of three Bloomington men who 
had been slain in battle. These men were Joseph A. Hauptman, David 
Thomas Morgan, and Eugene Conley. The first list of officers for the post 
were these: Commander, W. F. Witty; Senior Vice-Commander, Robert 
Switzer; Junior Vice-Commander, E. P. Downey; Chaplain, Lee Crosland; 
Adjutant, William A. Sammon; Quartermaster, Arthur Garbe. The board 
of trustees were: William J. Hull, J. P. Murray and Wade H. Fielder. 
The post holds monthly meetings. 




McLean County is noted for its number and the quality of its elee- 
mosynary institutions, which show the care of the portion of the popula- 
tion who are self-supporting* for that smaller portion which is afflicted 
with disease or suffers from misfortune and disaster. Chief among such 
institutions are the two large hospitals in Bloomington, one of them under 
the auspices of the Catholic Church, and the other under the patronage 
and management of non-sectarian organization, although mostly com- 
posed of representatives of the Protestant churches. 

St. Joseph's Hospital, located in the southwestern part of Blooming- 
ton, occupies a tract of two blocks of land, and the building as it now 
stands is the result of several additions made to a large central structure* 
which was the original hospital. The hospital project was started in the 
fall of 1879, when Rev. Mother Frances and Sister Augustine from St. 
Francis Hospital in Peoria came to Bloomington to look over the ground 
with a view to establishing a hospital here. They met with Dr. Sweeney 
and Dr. C. R. Parke, who went with them from house to house for funds. 
The money was secured to make the first payment on the home of Sam- 
uel W. Waddle, which was purchased for a nucleus of a hospital. On 
March 22, 1889, the hospital opened with Sister Augustine and Sister 
Joseph Aloysia in charge. The medical staff first appointed consisted of 


History of McLean County 



320 History of McLean County 

Drs. Sweeney, Parke, A. Luce, Worrell, Lee Smith, Elder and Wunderlich. 
In two years the first unit of the present building was erected, costing 
$22,000. In 1889 the second wing was built, costing $11,000. In 1885 
the first operating room was created and named for Dr. Parke, and in 
1899 the beautiful chapel was erected. In March, 1905, the twenty-fifth 
anniversary of the hospital was celebrated. Up to that time more than 
5,000 patients had been treated in the institution, of whom 1,672 were 
charity cases. 

The last and perhaps the greatest addition made to the hospital was 
that of the year 1922, when $60,000 was expended in building a large 
wing to the west, fronting on Morris Avenue, which makes a western 
front for the institution and adds to its impressive appearance. This 
newer structure is five stories in height, and it includes a modern operat- 
ing room with every known facility for the latest surgical treatments. 
St. Joseph's Hospital now represents a total investment of nearly a half 
million dollars. The medical faculty of the hospital includes many of the 
best known physicians and surgeons in the county. The hospital takes 
care not alone of those who come to it with ability to pay for a portion 
of the cost of their treatment, but it also receives some who are abso- 
lutely without means. For instance, in the years of its existence it has 
housed, fed and given medical attention to scores of men and women who 
otherwise would have had to go to the county farm to spend their last 

Brokaw Hospital — In May, 1893, there was organized in Bloomington 
a society for the establishment and maintenance of a Protestant hospital, 
the only hospital then in the city or county being the one under the direc- 
tion of the Catholic Church. Subscriptions to the amount of $5,000 were 
pledged and in part collected, and an option obtained on a certain piece of 
property in the city as a start on the hospital. The house was found to 
be unsuitable for the purpose, and the project was allowed to lapse for 
the time being. 

In 1895 some of the doctors in Bloomington and Normal organized 
to found a hospital, and secured an option on a tract of land just inside 
the corporate limits of the town of Normal, located on Franklin Avenue 
at the corner of Virginia Avenue. This is the present location of the hos- 
pital known as Brokaw Hospital, a large and modern institution. The 

History of McLean County 









t— I 




322 History of McLean County 

earlier organization then turned over to this newer society what funds 
it had and its pledges so far as renewable. By 1896 the original or cen- 
tral building was erected and opened for patients. The hospital had been 
turned over for management to the Mennonite Deaconess Nurses, under 
the charge of Rev. Mr. Sprunger, and the hospital was first called the 
Deaconess Memorial Hospital. In this form it was continued until Au- 
gust, 1897, when it was taken over by the Methodist Episcopal Deaconess 
society of Chicago. With comparatively meager facilities and a small 
staff, the hospital was operated successfully under the Deaconess man- 
agement until the year 1901, when it was the recipient of a large bene- 
faction from I. Abraham Brokaw, at which time the name was changed 
to Brokaw Hospital and its management turned over to an incorporated 
society for that purpose. 

Mr. Brokaw was one of the leading characters of McLean County in 
its early days. He came here when land was cheap and started a wagon 
and plowmaking shop, which grew to prosperous proportions for those 
times. Having become interested in the charitable work of the Deaconess 
Hospital, when he sold the building where his plow works had been lo- 
cated for many years, he created a trust fund of $30,000 for the use of 
the hospital. At that time the name of the hospital was changed to 
Brokaw, and this name was carved in the stone capping over the main 
entrance. When Mr. Brokaw died in 1905, he willed to the trustees of the 
hospital a fund amounting to $200,000, and a large and rich farm located 
in Dale Township. This endowment fund placed the hospital on a more 
substantial basis than it had ever before been. A third building was 
erected, attached to the others on the south. This structure was designed 
with the very latest ideas in hospital architecture, and included an operat- 
ing room which was the very latest word in such equipment. An X-ray 
room of the most modern design was also included. . The Brokaw endow- 
ment yields an annual income of considerable size, although not enough 
to meet the expenses of the institution. 

A number of the leading business and professional men of Blooming- 
ton and Normal have been untiring in their efforts to build, equip and 
maintain this institution on the very highest plane. Among the early 
loyal supporters was Dr. J. L. White who served as president of the medi- 
cal staff until his death in 1915. 

History of McLean County 323 

C. P. Soper, for many years one of Bloomington's most public spirited 
and successful business men was president of the board for seven years, 
and it was largely through his personal attention and executive ability 
that the hospital was carried through one of its most critical periods and 
its splendid growth and permanence were made. Mr. Soper passed away 
in Los Angeles, Cal., January, 1916. 

In 1909 Dr. N. K. McCormick, of Normal, was elected president of 
the board and served most efficiently until his death in 1919. 

Although not in robust health there was hardly a day in the year that 
Dr. McCormick did not visit the hospital and show his deep interest 
in its affairs. 

He gave much time and study to the plans of the new fire-proof 
building also to issuing and marketing the bonds which made the build- 
ing possible. From the time of the organization of the hospital until his 
death, in 1919, Dr. William E. Guthrie was one of the hospital's most 
active supporters and for five years of this time was Medical Director. 
Much of the success of the hospital in its whole history was due to Dr. 
Guthrie's skill, energy, and devotion. 

Brokaw Hospital should not be considered strictly a Bloomington 
and Normal institution. It receives patients from any locality, and its 
records show an increasing patronage each year by people who live in the 
country and small Illinois towns who wish to avail themselves of this 
institution for medical or surgical treatment. 

In January, 1902, the directors of Brokaw Hospital established a 
training school for nurses to be conducted in connection with the hospital. 
The school, incorporated under the title of the Brokaw Hospital School for 
Nurses, offers to women desirous of becoming professional nurses, a course 
of practical and theoretical instruction. The practical knowledge is gained 
by actual care of patients, under the supervision of the superintendent 
and her assistants. 

Graduate nurses are in charge of the following departments: House- 
keeping, Operating Rooms, Floor Work, Night Duty and District Nursing. 

The superintendent has immediate charge of the Training School, 
subject to the authority of the House Committee of the hospital. The 
curriculum has been lengthened to three years, thus fully meeting the re- 
quirements of the State Registration Board for Nurses. During the year 


History of McLean County 

1909, a separate building was erected for a Nurses' Home. This provides 
for the needs and recreation of the nurses when off duty and offers, besides 
the necessary home comforts, many of its pleasures. 

Miss Lula J. Justis has been the resident superintendent of Brokaw 
Hospital since 1908, and she has managed the institution with noted 
ability and general satisfaction. The first superintendent after the reor- 
ganization of the hospital and its accession from the order of Deacon- 
esses, was Miss Carrie S. Flatt, who was in charge for about six years. 
Miss Flatt was the person mainly responsible for the organization of the 
training school for nurses. Miss Flatt, shortly after her resignation, 
was married to L. S. Rupert, a well-known Bloomington citizen. Under 
the management of Miss Justus, many notable changes have been made, 
including the addition of two of the modern additions to the buildings and 
an entire revolution in the internal management. 

Mennonite Sanitarium and Training School. — Since history is in pro- 
portion to events, and events, in turn, in proportion to time, the Mennonite 
Sanitarium has a comparatively short record. Nevertheless it perhaps 
would be fitting in passing, to briefly review the origin of the Mennonite 

For a number of years, it was the conviction of a few of the leaders of 
the Mennonite Church, that the church ought to do more to meet the needs 
of the sick and suffering.. These convictions with a growing interest led 
to the organization of the Mennonite Sanitarium Association on the 23d 
day of January, 1919, with the following named Board of Directors: Rev. 
E. Troyer, Rev. J. H. King, Rev. John Kinsinger, Rev. Ben Rupp and Rev. 
Allen Miller. 

The Association immediately purchased the Harber property located 
at 1308 N. Main Sreet, Bloomington, 111. This building being a large resi- 
dence property, was remodeled and temporarily fitted for hospital use. 
The first patients were received May 1, 1919, as soon as the building was 
ready for occupancy, with Rev. Ben Rupp as superintendent. 

The question of a new building was seriously considered by the board, 
estimates and plans were already in hand when it became known that the 
Kelso Sanitarium, a fully equipped institution, was available. At a called 
meeting of the Association, the board was authorized to purchase the sani- 
tarium, which was done, the board taking full charge of this institution 
with its training school, May 1, 1920. Steps were immediately taken to 

History of McLean County 325 

reorganize the training school and put it on an accredited basis, recognized 
by the State of Illinois. All students who finish the course of training 
required are eligible to the credentials of a State Registered Nurse. 

This institution has at its command a medical and surgical staff equal 
to any in the central west covering the entire medical and surgical field. 
All departments of the institution are well equipped, the surgical depart- 
ment being one of the most splendidly equipped in the state. The seriliz- 
ing rooms adjoining are fitted with the latest devices for sterilizing dress- 
ings, instruments, utensils and clothing. Much consideration has been 
given to the equipment of the maternity department to meet the needs of 
all such cases. For the purpose of making an accurate diagnosis of dis- 
eases there is a standard X-ray machine and a first-class laboratory. 

The bath department situated in the new building is so arranged that 
it is. easy of access both from the outside and by elevator on the inside. 
The bath rooms are sunny, cheerful and efficient. As an auxiliary in the 
building up of physical conditions, this is an important feature. They are 
able to offer the best in the way of Sitz, Steam, Needle and Shower Baths, 
Electric Light, Electric Water and Electric Robe Baths, Salt Glows, Oil 
Rubs, Hot Packs, Fomentations, Scotch Douches and Massage. 

The present need is more room and plans are being formulated to 
enlarge the institution in the near future. The ideal is a Christian insti- 
tution where service may be given in the Spirit of Him who said, "Even 
the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give 
His life a ransom for many." 

The Jessamine Withers Home is an institution designed for the resi- 
dence of aged women who can fulfill the regulations as to entry, and who, 
having once become residents, may remain there throughout their lives. 
The Home is located on the north side of West Locust Street in the 300 
block. It was formerly the home of Mrs. Sarah Withers, a well-known 
woman of Bloomington for many years. She left the property in trust 
for the uses indicated, and after it was put upon a substantial basis it 
was named Jessamine Withers Home in her honor. Along about 1913, 
when the property was first turned over to the trustees of the Second 
Presbyterian Church for the care of aged women, the house was in a bad 
sta'te of repair, and there was no funds to repair it. Through the gener- 
osity of Mrs. Martha Horr and Col. D. C. Smith, a cottage was built on 

326 History of McLean County 

the rear of the lot, and here a few women, otherwise alone in the world, 
were able to secure board and room at reasonable rates. This was in the 
inception of the Withers Home. In 1914 Capt. S. Noble King and Mrs. 
King, foreseeing the possibilities of the place, created an endowment for 
its upkeep by deeding to the trustees the fine farm of Captain King north- 
east of Normal. Its management was put in the hands of a board of trus- 
tees consisting of one woman from each of the Protestant churches of 
Bloomington and Normal. Contributions of money and furnishings began 
to accumulate, and at the end of the first year the Horr cottage and the 
original Withers house, now remodeled and improved, housed nine women. 
From that time to 1923, there were 23 different women who found homes 
and comfort there in the declining years of their lives. 

When a woman, otherwise without a home, invests in one here, she 
is assured of a real home in every sense of the word for the rest of her 
life. Whatever she may have beyond the $500 purchase price is invested 
for her by the trustees, used by her during her lifetime, and at her 
death is bequeathed to the Home for the benefit of the family. If $500 
is the sum of her possessions, all of the benefits of the home are equally 
hers at that price, whether she lives one year or twenty-five. 

The board of management for the year 1923 was composed of the fol- 
lowing women : 

Members at large — Mrs. S. Noble King, Mrs. Allen Brown, Mrs. F. C. 
Davison, Mrs. Willis Harwood, Mrs. Guy McCurdy, Mrs. Milton White. 

Representing the county at large — Mrs. J. M. Anderson, of Saybrook, 
Mrs. William Mcintosh, of Colfax. 

Representing the various churches in Bloomington and Normal — Mrs. 
Will Barnard, Park Methodist; Mrs. Mahlon Bishop, Second United 
Brethren; Mrs. Hester Bonnett, First Christian; Mrs. A. L. Chapman, 
First Presbyterian; Mrs. E. L. Darr, First United Brethren; Mrs. Alonzo 
Dolan, Baptist; Miss Bernice L. Foster, Grace M. E. ; Mrs. W. P. Garret- 
son, Second Presbyterian; Mrs. John R. Gee, Unitarian; Mrs. Arthur 
Graves, Episcopal; Mrs. Campbell Holton, Second Christian; Mrs. Edwin 
Pattison, Congregational; Mrs. C. L. Schneider, Christian Science; Mrs. 
A. Schwarzman, Synagogue ; Mrs. Elizabeth Young, First Methodist ; Mrs. 
E. P. Brand, Normal Baptist ; Mrs. John Goodwin, Normal Christian ; Mrs. 
W. H. Johnson, Normal Methodist. 

History of McLean County 327 

Mrs. Clara Simpson and her helpers have worked out a system of 
housekeeping lubrication whereby the maximum efficiency is produced 
with minimum friction in all details of the Home life. The contentment 
and happiness which broods over the place are due in great measure to 
these competent workers. 

Victory Hall. — In the spring of 1919 there were thirty homeless Mc- 
Lean County boys living in the Girls' Industrial Home, an institution for 
girls, as its name indicates. What should be done for these boys needing 
care and protection? Mrs. E. R. Morgan, president of the board of di- 
rectors, called together a group of interested women to organize a home 
for boys. This group included Mrs. Davis Ewing, Mrs. Charles Burr, Mrs. 
Frank Chase, Mrs. Oscar Mandel and Miss Bertha Cowles. A board of 
directors was formed, for a boys' home, of which Mrs. Fred B. Capen was 
the first chairman. The project was at first financed by memberships at 
$5 each per year. A drive was undertaken and a house and grounds on 
West Hovey Avenue in Normal were purchased and named Victory Hall. 
It was the former Brooks home, a large house with ample grounds. Later 
a gift of $3,000 permitted the purchase of six lots of additional ground. 
On the west is a playground, and on the north a garden and fruit trees. 
A small frame house on the new lots serves as a hospital when needed. 
Every activity that makes the boys mingle with other children is encour- 
aged. They not only go to the public schools, but also to Sunday school. 
There are swimming classes at the Y. M. C. A. The boys have their own 
scout troop. It is a good one. Holidays are well provided for at Victory 
Hall. They have circus and movie treats, dear to the hearts of all boys. 

For the last two years, Victory Hall has participated in the general 
welfare drive and receives an apportionment of about $5,000 per year for 
the maintenance of the institution. The board of management for the 
year 1923 was made up as follows: Mrs. Davis Ewing, president; Mrs. 
Holmes, vice-president; Mrs. Louis Eddy, treasurer; Mrs. Fitch Harwood, 
secretary ; Miss Jeanette Johnston, corresponding secretary. Board : Mrs. 
Fred Capin, Miss Bertha Cowles, Mrs. Mercer Davis, Mrs. Harold Gard- 
ner, Mrs. Harris Hoblit, Mrs. Louie Kuhn, Mrs. Oscar Mandel, Mrs. James 
Melluish, Mrs. Eugene Funk, Mrs. Manchester, Mrs. L. Probasco, Mrs. 
Ebon Jones, Miss Julia Hodge, Mrs. Herman Ochs. 


History of McLean County 

Day Nursery — In January of 1907, at the call of Mrs. Albert Schwarz- 
man, a group of women met at the Illinois hotel to organize and establish 
a day nursery where mothers might leave their children when they went 
out to earn a livelihood. Mrs. A. E. Stevenson presided. The organiza- 
tion was completed, and soon afterward a small frame house on West Mul- 
berry Street west of the Alton road was rented, the first year's rent being 
paid by Col. D. C. Smith and Howard Humphreys. Mrs. R. 0. Graham was 
first president, and continued in office till she left the city some years later. 
After a few years the Day Nursery expanded when funds were secured 
from the public for purchasing a twelve-room house farther to the west 
on Mulberry. It was secured free of debt and remodeled to suit its 
uses. In the present quarters, the expenses of maintenance is about $300 
per month. Miss Jennie Thompson served as resident superintendent 
until her death in the winter of 1923. Mrs. Glines, her former assistant, 
succeeded Miss Thompson. Some of the women who have been prominent 
in the management of the Day Nursery are Mrs. C. M. Harlan, Miss Nel- 
lie Parham, Mrs. R. C. Baldwin, Mrs. Frank Aldrich, Miss Laurastine Mar- 
quis, Mesdames Harry Eckart, Harris K. Hoblit, A. Schwarzman, Fred 
B. Capen, Clinton P. Soper, Kern Beath, H. M. Rollins, Alfred Sample, 
Louise Robinson, Miss Margaret Robinson and Miss Lulu Peters. At the 
present house, a branch library is maintained, a kindergarten conducted, 
sewing and cooking classes, and night school for Americanization kept up. 

The McLean County Home for Colored Children is one of the newer 
and smaller philanthropic institutions, but it is one which is serving a 
real need of the city and county. It is located in a house at 1203 West 
Moulton Street. There are from five to ten children in the Home at all 
times, and a colored matron is in charge. The boy children get good 
care and are sent to school during the usual term time. This Home par- 
ticipates in the general welfare drive which is annually put on in Bloom- 
ington for the combined charitable causes and institutions. 

The Babyfold, located in Normal, is one of the most unique and inter- 
esting charitable institutions in McLean County, or indeed anywhere in 
Illinois. It has grown from a small beginning to a large house full of 
babies, all of its expansion and increase in usefulness having been accom- 
plished without incurring at any time any debt which could not be 
promptly discharged. Some twenty years ago, Mrs. Mason, of Normal, 

History of McLean County 329 

donated her home on North Street for the purpose of founding a Deacon- 
ess Home, but after the Deaconess (now Brokaw) Hospital had provided 
a home for its nurses, the Mason property was converted into a home for 
homeless babies. Mrs. Asher, the present superintendent, took charge 
of it in 1903, and with the increase in the number of babies which came 
into her charge, it was found that the Mason property was inadequate. 
In 1910 this house was traded for a piece of property on Willow Street 
in Normal, just east of the Illinois Central and extending back to Cypress. 
The house had 11 rooms, and the grounds were large. A gift of $3,000 
afterward allowed the property to be improved and enlarged. Then Dr. 
Quine, of Chicago, a son-in-law of Mrs. Mason, gave the Babyfold a gift 
of $5,000, with the provision that he should be allowed interest on it till 
his death, then it was to be an outright gift. With this money a small 
farm on Main Street was secured, on which the cows are kept for fur- 
nishing milk to the Babyfold. Several years later another and larger 
brick addition was built to the Babyfold. As many as 65 babies have been 
cared for in this institution at one time, ranging from new-born infants 
to children five or six years of age. Many of the babies are secured per- 
manent homes in good families, so that the Babyfold serves a double 
purpose. The Babyfold formerly was supported by private donations. 
Now it participates in the general welfare drive, and secures an appor- 
tionment from the proceeds of that campaign. 

The Girls' Industrial Home, a well-known and established McLean 
County institution, has been in existence for twenty-five years. It has a 
large brick building located on South State Street, where there are con- 
stantly a number of girls in good care who have been deprived of their 
natural family protection, either by death or separation of their parents. 
The first entry in the records of the institution was made in 1899, in the 
handwriting of Miss Mattie Marble. The records further show that when 
some thirty women formed a board for the establishment of the Girls' 
Industrial Home, Mrs. Ellen Light was chosen its first president. The 
names of the other persons interested at the founding of the Home were 
Gertrude Willever, Fannie Fell, Louise Maxwell, Sallie Kerrick, Ellen Phil- 
lips, Clara Waite, M. Louise Crothers, Frances C. Funk, Anna C. Read, 
Mary O'Connell, Sarah H. Aldrich, Mattie Newton, Carrie Brownell, Hat- 
tie Allin, Sue R. Cooper, Letta Livingston, Amelia Griesheim, Joseph 

330 History of McLean County 

Thompson, Thomas Tipton, Edmund O'Connell, Louise J. Woods, Lydia 
McCoy, Mary C. White, Mattie Marble, Eliza Davis, Henry Augustine, 
Malinda Anderson, Anna L. Randolph, Orpha Hiett, Lydia Morehouse, 
Lydia Aldrich, Sarah E. Samms, Elizabeth Coale, Louise Wilson, Mary 
Jordan. For many years the Home occupied a wooden building, which 
had formerly been a residence. Then about 1916 a campaign was put on 
for securing funds to build a brick fire-proof building, three stories in 
height, which was successfully accomplished and the new structure was 
occupied in the fall of 1917. The girls at the Industrial Home attend the 
public schools and the Sunday schools and churches of that vicinity. The 
county of McLean, by action of the board of supervisors, each year appro- 
priates a sum at a certain rate per capita for all the girls who are resi- 
dent there. Some of the girls are placed in homes, and others on reach- 
ing the age limit are sent out into the world with good training for their 
future lives, either as wives or fitted to undertake a career. Miss Carrie 
Smith is the efficient superintendent, a position she has held for several 
years. The present board of management is as follows: President, Mrs. 
E. R. Morgan, vice-presidents, Mrs. Howard Humphreys and Mrs. George 
L. Parker; secretary, Mrs. Clara D. Munce; treasurer, Mrs. Gordon Cole. 
Mrs. Munce succeeds to the secretaryship after the death of her mother, 
Mrs. H. C. DeMotte, who held the position for niany years. 

One of the notable helps to the permanency of this home was the 
bequest left in her will by Miss Mattie Marble, one of the charter mem- 
bers of the board. This was a very substantial sum, and after some liti- 
gation concerning final approval of the will has been disposed of, the sum 
will become a permanent endowment for the home. Mrs. Aldrich, an- 
other charter member who died in 1923, left $500 in her will for the home, 
which the board placed to a separate use under the title of the "Mrs. Aid- 
rich Fund." Mrs. E. R. Morgan, long time president of the board in her 
last annual report, says: "Many have gone from this Home to useful 
corners, many wives and mothers in happy homes. We feel there is a 
growing knowledge on the part of the public that this home is a satisfac- 
tory harbor for girls who have been deprived of the shelter and protec- 
tion of their natural homes and we hope to justify and maintain this 
position, not only at home, but abroad. 

Fairview Sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis persons is a 
McLean County institution which had its inception in a privately organ- 

History of McLean County 


332 History of McLean County 

ized body of citizens who gave their time and money to promoting the 
fight against the disease which had a record at that time of being the most 
destructive single ailment to the human family. At a meeting held in 
the office of Capt. J. H. Rowell in January, 1908, the subject of the organ- 
ization of such a society was first discussed. Col. D. C. Smith was chosen 
chairman, and J. L. Hasbrouck secretary. In addition, those present were 
Edmund O'Connell, Clinton P. Soper, Dr. F. 0. Jackman, Dr. E. Mammen 
and Dr. J. H. Fenelon. At that first meeting, Edmund O'Connell was 
asked to go to Springfield to attempt to secure a law for permitting coun- 
ties in Illinois to levy a tax to establish and maintain an institution for 
the care and cure of tuberculosis patients. At a meeting on Sept. 26, 
1911, it was voted that the society be called the McLean County Anti- 
tuberculosis Society. On Oct. 17 following, the following officers were 
elected: Colonel Smith, honorary president; E. W. Cole, active presi- 
dent; Henry Behr, treasurer and corresponding secretary; J. L. Has- 
brouck, recording secretary. 

The law for the authority of counties to levy a tax for establishing 
sanatoriums for tuberculosis people was passed and became effective July 
1, 1909. Agitation was at once begun to secure action of the board of 
supervisors for submitting this question to the people. This was with- 
out effect for several years, and it was not until Nov. 7, 1916, that the 
question was voted upon, with the result that 9,661 votes were cast in 
favor of it, and 7,714 against it, the favorable majority being 1,947. The 
county tuberculosis society had meanwhile carried on extensive educa- 
tional work, having hired a visiting nurse and furnished information to 
families free where there were members suffering from the disease. The 
board of supervisors, following the referendum vote, levied and collected 
the prescribed tax of one mill on the $100 valuation. Three trustees were 
named to administer this fund, they being Dr. C. M. Noble, Mrs. J. A. 
Bohrer and Jacobs Martens. The first of the county agencies established 
to combat tuberculosis was the public dispensary, opened in January, 
1918, in a room at 103 East Market Street, where it continues; to this 
day. Here free examinations and diagnosis were furnished to the public, 
Dr. Bernice Curry acting as medical director. The first year there were 

333 cases handled by Dr. Curry and Mrs. Brett. In 1918 a site consisting 
of forty acres just north of Normal situated along Main Street on a 
commanding rise of ground, was bought for the location of the proposed 

History of McLean County 333 

sanatorium. The name of "Fairview" was chosen upon public sugges- 
tions, after many other names had been offered. The building was erected 
in the spring and summer of 1919, and on August 17 was formally dedi- 
cated with imposing ceremonies. The McLean County Sanatorium was 
the second one of its kind in Illinois, only one other county having pre- 
ceded this in erecting such a building. The original capacity of the sana- 
torium was 34 patients, and a later addition provided six other rooms, 
accommodating a total of 49. One section was set apart for soldiers of 
the World War, of whom there were several at the start and have been 
ever since. In the lobby of the sanatorium, over the fire place, was un- 
veiled a bronze tablet in honor of Mrs. Florence Fifer Bohrer, who had 
from the start been a moving spirit in the work of the McLean County 
Anti-tuberculosis Society and of the sanatorium project. Miss Catherine 
Smith was the first superintendent of the sanatorium, and she was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. A. Bernice Curry, the present head. Mrs. Brett, after serv- 
ing several years as visiting nurse, resigned and was succeeded by Mrs. 
Earl Cooper, the present incumbent. The Tuberculosis Society still car- 
ries on its educational work, its fundsi being furnished by sales of Red 
Cross seals. The sanatorium is constantly filled with patients, and usually 
there is a waiting list. Since beginning her work here Dr. Curry has 
examined 1,473 patients. It is the second sanatorium built and operated 
under the Glacken law. 

Fairview Sanatorium is for the treatment of all stages of tubercu- 
losis, children admitted and negroes are admitted in a separate building. 
The capacity of the Sanatorium is 49 beds, and it is free to residents of 
McLean County. The original cost of building which is fire-proof was 
$100,000; ground, $15,000; equipment, $10,000. Since original cost three 
new rooms, six beds and a cottage for colored people have been added. It 
is located three miles north of the C. H. at Bloomington and can be reached 
by street car from Bloomington to Normal ; transfer to Normal loop ; leave 
car at Lincoln and School Streets, and walk six blocks. 

Salvation Army. — By purchasing and improving a three-story build- 
ing at Madison and Washington Streets, Bloomington, in 1923, the Sal- 
vation Army took its place among the permanent establishments of Mc- 
Lean County which are devoted to religious and humanitarian work. It 
had been operating in Bloomington for several years previously, having 

334 History of McLean County 

first been located here as a post in the year 1891 by Col. Jack C. Addie. 
The organization had a precarious existence for many years, consisting 
of a small band of devoted followers who held religious meetings on the 
streets, and then in a small hall, and supported by the meager voluntary 
contributions secured by "drum-head"' collections on the streets. Later 
a small room was rented from James Shaw on South Center Street, and 
under various officers of the world-wide organization assigned to this sta- 
tion, the work was carried forward. In the year 1918 under World War 
conditions, the Salvation Army was put on a more substantial basis by 
creating a council of administration, composed of citizens of all parts of 
the county, who formed an annual fund for its sustenance and thereby 
relieved it from the former hand-to-mouth way of getting on. In 1923, 
from a balance left over from war drives and some funds made up in 
other ways, the Army, then under charge of Captain Ainsworth, made a 
first payment on the three-story business building at Madison, for which 
$20,000 was the price. The balance is to be made up in future payments. 
The building was remodeled and occupied in January, 1924. 

The Bureau of Social Service, the central charitable organization in 
Bloomington was first broached at a mass meeting held in the Second 
Presbyterian Church on April 10, 1900. There were eight charitable or- 
ganizations of the city represented, and it was voted to form an Associ- 
ated Charities, modeled after the one in Chicago. Col. D. C. Smith was 
chairman, Mrs. Sue A. Sanders, secretary. Miss Charlotte Capen ex- 
plained the object of the meeting, and a committee on constitution was 
named, consisting of Mrs. B. P. Marsh, M. Levy and H. R. Evans. One 
week later, Colonel Smith called a meeting to hear the report of the com- 
mittee on constitution, and also announced a large committee headed by 
Mayor L. B. Thomas and ex-Mayor C. F. Koch to canvass the city and 
create interest in the project. 

At the meeting on April 19, a constitution was adopted and the fol- 
lowing officers elected: President, Howard D. Humphreys; first vice- 
president, R. D. Levy ; second vice-president, C. P. Soper ; third vice-presi- 
dent, J. J. Thompson; secretary, J. L. Loar. On the following Sunday 
night, a union mass meeting of the churches of the city was held at the 
Second Presbyterian, when Charles F. Weller of the Chicago Associated 
Charities delivered an address. 

History of McLean County 335 

Miss Ida Lange was appointed the first office secretary and general 
overseer of the work. The idea of a clinic was incorporated with the or- 
ganization, and work of that kind was carried on with the co-operation of 
the physicians of the city. Mrs. Nannie Dunkin was named general sec- 
retary about a year after the organization, and she continued in the posi- 
tion for a number of years. In the list of officers and directors during 
the earlier stages were several changes, and the list for the year 1905 
were as follows: President, R. F. Evans; vice-presidents, Oscar Mandel, 
Henry Capen, Mrs. Lucy Lucas; treasurer, W. L. Moore. Mrs. Dunkin 
in her report for the year 1904-5 showed that 762 cases had been taken 
care of. The treasurer showed $2,875 received, with a balance at the end 
of the year of $643. 

Mrs. Dunkin remained as general secretary and superintendent from 
the time of her appointment in 1902 until 1915, when she resigned and 
was succeded by Mrs. Mabel H. Seymour, who had been assistant in the 
office. Mrs. Seymour acted as superintendent for about nine years, re- 
signing in May, 1920. Her services covered the period of the World War, 
when the Associated Charities was called upon to do more and greater 
work than at any previous period. The co-operation with the Red Cross 
and other relief agencies for the care of the families of soldiers called into 
the service, and to the adjustment of their compensation and other work 
of that sort, created additional functions for the organization. In the 
year 1918, at the annual meeting in May, the name of the society was 
changed from Associated Charities to that of the Bureau of Social Serv- 
ice, that being more in line with its work and better suited to its co-opera- 
tion with similar societies elsewhere. At about the same time, through 
co-operation with the board of supervisors, the city and county relief 
work were combined in the same office, and Mrs. Seymour was made 
county overseer of the poor for the city of Bloomington, as well as gen- 
eral secretary of the Bureau of Social Service. Her salary was partly 
paid by the county and partly by the Bureau. This was a great advan- 
tage all around, for it prevented duplication of relief and simplified the 
procedure in many ways. 

Upon the resignation of Mrs. Seymour in May, 1920, the position of 
general secretary and overseer of the poor was filled by Mrs. Naoma M. 
Fry, who had been assistant. Mrs. Fry is still in charge, and she has 
as her present assistant Mrs. Florence Strohmeier. The office of the 

336 History of McLean County 

Bureau has been located for more than twenty years in offices over No. 
320 North Main Street. The Bureau is supported by private contribu- 
tions, for which an annual campaign is put on. Of recent years the organi- 
zation has received several bequests of large sums which are to be used 
as an endowment fund. These bequests came from the estates of George 
S. Hanna, Judge Myers, William T. Shorthose, Lyman M. Graham, Luman 
Burr and Mrs. Margaret Packard. 

It is interesting to recall the names of the persons who have served 
as presidents and secretaries of the board of directors of the Bureau of 
Social Service since its formation. 

James A. Wilcox was first president, serving in 1902-3. Col. D. C. 
Smith served for a short period in 1903. R. F. Evans then was president 
in 1904 and 1905. The next president was Henry Behr, in 1906 and 1907. 
Charles Northrup served in 1908 and 1909. Then began the long term 
of E. W. Cole, who was elected in 1910 and served until 1917, when he 
removed to California. John W. Harber served as president the next two 
years, 1918 and 1919. James G. Melluish was chosen president in 1920 
and served for three years. At the annual meeting of 1923, Ralph M. 
Green was elected president, and he still holds the position. 

Miss Ida D. Lange was chosen first secretary, and was succeeded in 
1903 by Mrs. Lucy Lucas, who served until 1916. In the latter year, Mrs. 
Alonzo Dolan was chosen secretary and served until 1920. Mrs. Julius 
Griesheim succeeded her, and acted as secretary until the annual meet- 
ing of 1923, when Mrs. Louis FitzHenry was elected. 

' 7F* 

1 « M, 





The period of the great fire saw a transformation in the history of 
Bloomington in one regard. It created a spirit of co-operation among the 
people of the city which had never before been in existence, or at least 
had never found expression. One of the means of this expression which 
came into being was the organization first formed under the name of the 
Business Men's Association, and now known as the Association of Com- 
merce. This association has had a continuous and active existence from 
the year of the great fire. When the city lay prostrate in ashes after 
the conflagration had swept out its heart, the business men saw that if 
it was ever to rise from the ashes in better shape than before, it would 
be only by the united efforts of all classes of citizens. In that feeling 
was born the Business Men's Association. 

On the evening of Nov. 22, 1900, a mass meeting was held in old 
Washingtonian Hall, in the upper story of the building then known as the 
Leader Building. There were present 200 of the leading business men 
of the city, and after some preliminary discussion it was decided to form 
a permanent organization for mutual advantage. Eighty-nine men signed 
the roll as charter members of the new association, and the following were 
the first officers elected by the association: President, Benjamin F. Har- 
ber; first vice-president, C. P. Soper; second vice-president, C. W. Klemm; 
treasurer, John J. Cowden ; directors, S. R. White, A. B. Hoblit, Robert 
Johnson, Maurice Levy, Frank Oberkoetter, Milton R. Livingston, John 



338 History of McLean County 

Eddy, H. B. Harwood, Oscar Mandel and Louis FitzHenry. The first of- 
fice secretary chosen for the association was R. F. Berry, and offices were 
fitted up in the Eddy Building, where activities were begun which were 
destined to accomplish much for the good of the city for the coming 
twenty years. 

For the first few years of its existence the Business Men's Association 
operated in a rather informal way and with but meager funds and re- 
sources. It first had rooms in the second story of the Stephen Smith 
Building at the corner of Jefferson and Center Streets. Shortly after- 
ward its office was moved to a single room in the Unity Building; in fact, 
its secretary simply had a desk in a lawyer's office. The next move was 
to a room on the first floor of the Illinois Hotel Building, where the work 
was carried on for a couple of years. A suite of rooms in the front part 
of the Griesheim Building were next remodeled to suit the needs of the 
Association, and here its working force and field of activities was much 

The Griesheim suite having become outgrown, the quarters of the 
Commercial Club, as its name had become by this time, was taken to the 
Durley Building, where a series of rooms stretching along the Main Street 
front of the second story, were occupied. The Farm Bureau, the Traffic 
Bureau, the credit rating bureau, and other minor activities had been 
added by this time. 

The final move, made in November, 1922, was to the present large 
and well appointed quarters in the B. S. Greeen Building. Here the Asso- 
ciation of Commerce occupies three-fourths of the first floor, and also a 
large assembly room with kitchen attached on the second floor. The lat- 
ter are used for meetings of various kinds, often irt cases where groups 
of people gather at luncheon to discuss any given project. Since this 
building was occupied, the assembly rooms have been the scenes of many 
notable public gatherings. The lower floor is divided into compartments 
for the use of the general secretary, the credit bureau and its employes, 
the traffic bureau and its managers, and there is also a large committee 
room for smaller meetings than needed when the assembly room is not 

The list of the presidents of the Association of Commerce and its 
predecessors, the Commercial Club and the Business Men's Association, 
have been the following from the time of its organization in the year 1900: 

History of McLean County 339 

Benjamin F. Harber, 1901-2; John Eddy, 1903-4; Samuel R. White, 
1905 ; John J. Pitts, 1906 ; Hamer H. Green, 1907 ; Paul F. Beich, 1908-9 ; 
Alonzo Dolan, 1910-11; G. Burt Read, 1912-13; George A. Washburn, 1914- 
15; George C. Heberling, 1916; R. C. Baldwin, 1917-18; E. M. Evans, 
1919-20; Leroy G. Whitner, 1921-22; Milton R. Livingston, 1923-24. 

R. F. Berry was the first employed office secretary, and held the po- 
sition until his death, four or five years after the association was organ- 
ized. Then William Schmidt was placed in charge of the office work, de- 
voting what time it needed along with his own business. He was the 
secretary at the time of the great Chicago & Alton shop expansion cam- 
paign in 1910 as described in detail elsewhere. Mr. Schmidt was followed 
by Jos. Joplin, who had been traffic manager for Harber Bros. Mr. Jop- 
lin was an expert on the transportation question, and devoted most of his 
energies to that phase of the work. He finally went west, giving up his 
position here. In the year 1913, J. Heber Hudson was selected to the 
secretaryship, and he continues to this time. He had formerly been a 
traveling salesman for Seibel Bros., and it transpired that he was quali- 
fied in every way for the duties of secretary. Under his direction the 
Association has witnessed most of its growth and expansion. 

Ever since Secretary Hudson assumed the office, he has issued each 
year a printed report of the Association's activities. Extracts from these 
reports indicate the many things done or planned. The first report, is- 
sued in January, 1915, for the year 1914 tells of the introduction of the 
semi-annual Style Shows by the Retail Interests committee. It tells of 
the formation of the Better Farming Association, which was the prede- 
cessor of the present McLean County Farm Bureau. A trade extension 
excursion was run, when 500 business men joined in a day's trip to visit 
a score of towns within a radius of fifty miles. A public time table of 
trains at all Bloomington stations was posted at the Corn Belt Bank cor- 
ner. The sum of $500 was donated toward building the gap in the Shir- 
ler hard road. A great public spectacle, called Venetian Night, was given 
at Miller park in July. The rebuilt Alton shops were dedicated. The 
offices were moved to the front of the Griesheim Building, and 4,000 peo- 
ple visited the office during the year. The membership for the year was 
448, and a total of $12,507.19 was handled in the office. 

In 1915 an effort for the construction of a Community Bulding was 
made, but for several reasons it was finally abandoned. D. O. Thompson 

340 History of McLean County 

was hired as the first McLean County farm adviser to work with the 
Better Farming Association, which now numbered 350 members. The 
first Middle-West tractor demonstration was put on this year, the show 
being in fields adjoining Orendorff Springs. It was attended by 50,000 
people during the week. In the fall a great corn show was given, and 
a great McLean County picnic was held at Funk's Grove in celebration 
of the first settlement of Isaac Funk in this county. The horse breeders' 
sales were promoted, and an agricultural short course was arranged. 
The collection and credit rating department was established in charge 
of Jesse B. Havens. The Corn Palace attracted 24,000 visitors, and cost 
$4,497 to put on. A great many conventions were entertained during 
the year. Another trade extension excursion was carried out. A lawn 
and garden contest with suitable prizes was planned and carried out. A 
Christmas charity fund of $1,666 was raised. The total amount of money 
handled during the year was $11,340, and the membership was 506. 

A second and greater tractor demonstration was put on in August, 
1916, when 75,000 people attended. It was held in fields east and south 
of the city, and cost the Commercial Club $4,714. The Corn Palace that 
year encountered terribly bad weather and came out with a deficit of 
$3,000. This was the year that saw the total motorizing of the fire de- 
partment of Bloomington, which was encouraged by the Commercial Club, 
the change costing $21,000. Many conventions were provided for that 
year, and E. M. Evans as chairman of the committee on city planning, 
outlined a comprehensive program. The membership that year was 538, 
and the money handled amounted to $9,292. 

The year 1917 was also marked by the opening of war activities on 
the part of this association as well as in every other organization. The 
tractor demonstration, the K. of P. encampment and other enterprises of 
a civic character were abandoned on this account. The retailers organized 
a co-operative delivery company for more efficient handling of merchan- 
dise. Company M was formed for a home guard military organization 
in the absence of young men in draft bodies. Capt. C. B. Hamilton was 
in command. The Better Farming association expanded its membership 
and put on a colt show. The convention committee secured permanent 
street decorations which might be used for any public occasion. Busi- 
ness was good, there being no commercial failures, and the C. & A. paid 
out $3,500,000 in Bloomington. A city planning program was organized. 

History of McLean County 341 

The membership for the year was 650, and the total amount of money 
handled was $10,508. 

In 1918 the move to the large quarters in the Durley building was 
made. War activities continued to be the main interest. Capt. Hills as 
chairman of, the committee secured a fund to erect memorial arches at 
the court house in honor of the McLean county soldiers who had died in 
the war. The A. of C. gave much assistance to the Wesleyan in its estab- 
lishment of the S. A. T. C. and erected barracks for the student soldiers. 
A great corn show dedicated this building, it being managed jointly by 
the Farm Bureau of the A. of C. The sum of $5,000 was realized, but 
soon afterward the Wesleyan abandoned its S. A. T. C. program owing to 
the close of the war, and the money was divided between the Farm 
Bureau and the A. of C. This year saw the organization of the McLean 
County Home Bureau and of the free employment bureau under the aus- 
pices of the government, for which the A. of C. contributed liberally for 
rent, etc. Several celebrations were held in honor of the centennial 
anniversary of the admission of Illinois to the union. E. M. Evans donated 
a tract of eighty acres of land northeast of the city for a park, to be 
known as Centennial park. The A. of C. planned to erect a monument 
there. One of the organizations promoted this year was the Association 
of Commerce Glee Club, which was very successful. The A. of C. mem- 
bership was 646. 

One of the achievements of the year 1919 was to settle forever the 
question of the proposed removal of the Wesleyan University, which had 
been strongly advocated in the Illinois Conference. The faith of Bloom- 
ington was so stoutly exemplified in the Wesleyan that the conference 
backed up the decision of the trustees that the institution should per- 
manently remain here. The same year witnessed the closing of a deal 
with the Meadows Manufacturing Company for the removal of its Pontiac 
plant to Bloomington and to erect new buildings costing $600,000 on a 
tract of fourteen acres secured by the A. of C. and given to the company 
as a site. The proposition was financed by the platting and selling lots 
in the Association of Commerce addition, adjoining the Meadows tract. 
Two other smaller factories were secured that year. The returning sol- 
diers from the world war were provided with public receptions whenever 
a contingent of any size arrived. The strip of three miles of concrete road 
east on Empire street was constructed by co-operation between county 

342 History of McLean County 

and state road agencies. This same year witnessed the construction of 
the Lafayette Apartments, the largest family residence building ever 
erected in the city. 0. D. Center became county farm adviser succeeding 
D. 0. Thompson, called to the State Agricultural association. 

In 1920, the traffic department, under charge of E. L. Henninger had 
expanded into one of the most important of the A. of C. subsidiary agen- 
cies. It audited 25,000 freight and express bills, quoted 3,836 rates to 
customers, and secured refunds of $8,482 overcharges. It issued a weekly 
bulletin of its activities, and traced 283 carloads or less than carload ship- 
ments. The year witnessed the consummation of the Meadows enter- 
prise. The Wesleyan Committee of the Association of Commerce bought 
properties near the Wesleyan which should be needed in its proposed 
expansion campaign. There were more than 1,000 members this year, 
and the total sum of money passing through the office was $129,991. 

The outstanding achievement in the 1921 review was the successful 
completion of the Greater Wesleyan campaign, under the chairmanship 
of E. M. Evans, which was wound up on June 30 with a total of pledges 
$692,000 in a campaign which started out to raise $650,000. The report 
of Secretary Hudson characterized this as "the greatest single project 
ever undertaken by a group of citizens of McLean County." In further- 
ance of the program made possible by this accomplishment, there had 
already been $100,000 of real estate added to Wesleyan holdings near the 
campus, a dwelling had been acquired north of Kemp hall as further dor- 
mitory room for girls, the $170,000 gymnasium was already under con- 
struction, and plans made to start the Buck Memorial library in the spring. 
The A. of C. traffic bureau reported a busy year, having adjusted 1,331 
overcharge cases and secured refund of $11,220 overcharges. The bureau 
had assisted the Ritter Motor Bus Company in starting its service to 
outside towns, and the company had carried 7,328 passengers between 
July and December. Further efforts to secure reduced rates on coal ship- 
ments to Normal and Bloomington were under way. The credit bureau 
under W. J. Tuohy had answered 2,719 calls. The road committee was 
busy with oiling projects and securing right of way for state paved roads. 
The Association had delivered deeds to $14,457 worth of property in the 
A. of C. addition, making a total delivered $108,525, with $21,000 yet to 
be sold or delivered. The Association had helped refinancing the Hamil- 
ton-Hayes Stove company, and had co-operated with the American Legion 

History of McLean County 343 

in work for the McBarnes Memorial building. There had been 18 miles 
of road oiled out of Bloomington, the style shows and Dollar Days of 
the retail interests were great successes. A tourist bureau had been 
maintained, and boulevard lights for East Washington street arranged 
for. The amount of money handled by the A. of C. for the year was 

One of the outstanding features of Association of Commerce activity 
in 1922 was using its influence in bringing about a settlement of the 
shopmen's strike at the Chicago & Alton. A complete suspension of work 
at the great Alton plant had taken place July 1, the men acting in con- 
junction with their fellow craftsmen all over the country. After months 
of inactivity, the A. of C. through its president, L. G. Whitmer, brought 
the union officials and the company officials together in a series of con- 
ferences where the differences were threshed out and a basis of settle- 
ment arrived at. It was a matter of good news to all concerned when the 
2,000 men went back to work. The A. of C. traffic bureau had another 
good year, auditing 100,000 freight bills and securing repayment of $8,873 
overcharges. The Credit rating bureau answered 4,000 ca^ls for infor- 
mation, being in charge of W. J. Tuohy and E. W. Moeller. A good start 
was made on the new building program of the Wesleyan, the gymnasium 
and library being under construction. Of the pledges made in the finan- 
cial campaign of the previous year, there had been $116,942 collected up 
to Jan. 1. The A. of C. erected a memorial gateway at the Main street 
entrance of the campus district. 

The year saw the actual work begun in the betterment of the Bloom- 
ington and Normal Sanitary district, by the deepening and widening of 
Sugar Creek so that it could carry all flood waters. It has not since once 
overflowed. The A. of C. assisted in the celebration and setting of a 
stone marker at Randolph commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 
the settlement of Gardner Randolph there. The move into the large new 
quarters in the B. S. Green building was made on November 1 of this year. 
The project for the refinancing of the Meadows Manufacturing was set 
upon its feet. The general financial statement showed $70,132 passed 
through the hands of the treasurer. 

For the year 1923, a budget system was prepared and followed. The 
membership was 824, and the sum of money passing through the Asso- 
ciation was $180,525. At the annual dinner and business meeting held 

344 History of McLean County 

at the end of this year, when over 1,000 people were present, the work 
of the year was grouped under the headings of various committees, each 
of which reviewed the activities of 1923. These committees and their 
chairmen were as follows: 

Membership, Roy E. Chew; legislative, Fred W. Wollrab; Wesleyan ; 
E. M. Evans; retail interests, A. Schwarzman; roads, J. L. Murray; ad- 
vertising and promotion, John W. Rodgers, jr. ; entertainment, C. H. Mar- 
quis; conventions, George C .Heberling; agriculture, R. C. Baldwin; audit, 
A. V. S. Lloyd; visiting and fellowship, W. W. Tilden; U. S. chamber of 
commerce, Paul F. Beich; music, C. E. Stewart; water, Sumner Good- 
fellow; trade extension, J. P. Klemm; sanitation and health, Ignatz Led- 
erer; retail grocers, Henry Nierstheimer ; finance and audit, Charles F. 
Agle; public improvements, Harry K. Dick; jobbing interests, Charles 
A. Stephenson; industrial interests, James A. Gray; A. of C. addition to 
the city, Dan W. Snyder; railroads and transportation, R. 0. Ahlenius; 
labor relations, Leroy G. Whitmer. 

In 1923, because of the general depression in all agricultural lines, 
the Meadowy Manufacturing Company had encountered financial diffi- 
culties. Through the A. of C, settlements were effected with all credit- 
ors and a special committee from the A. of C. sold $150,000 worth of 
bonds, the proceeds to be used as working capital by the Meadows Com- 
pany. This company is now on a sound financial basis and their product 
is being shipped throughout a large territory- 

The Association of Commerce has been of great assistance in the 
matter of hard roads development, having secured many important sec- 
tions of right-of-way in cases where the lands could not be secured by 
the townships. Approximately $15,000 has been expended by the A. of C. 
for right-of-way on the hard roads thus far completed. There is also 
expended $7,500 per year for road oil, and $2,500 per year on roadside 
advertising. Large sign boards are maintained on all roads leading to 
Bloomington, some of these signs being placed as far as seventy-five miles 
from the city. Direction arrows point the way to Bloomington from 
every direction. 

The affairs of the Association are guided by a board of 24 directors 
who serve two-year terms. Each director is chairman of a standing com- 
mittee. The board meets the first and third Monday of each month. The 
Credit Rating bureau, which is considered one of the most efficient in the 

History of McLean County 345 

United States, is under the direct supervision of the Retail Credit Men's 
association. Accurate ledger information is furnished the merchants from 
files kept up to date. A daily reporter is issued by this department which 
contains copies of all court records, property transfers, business changes, 
removals and all information which is of value to members and credit 
men. The Traffic Bureau, under the management of E. L. Henninger, is 
supervised by the Transportation and Jobbing Interests committees. 
Twelve people comprise the office staff of the Association of Commerce, 
and it is the clearing house for all community activities. 




Learning a lesson from all the other forms of business activity, the 
agricultural interests began to discuss some form of permanent organiza- 
tion for mutual interests along in the years from about 1912 to 1914. 
More and more the idea of organization grew in the minds of the more 
wide-awake farmers of the county. Eventually, about the year 1914 or 
early in 1915, an organization to be known as the McLean County Better 
Farming Association was formed. The first list of officers included the 
following: President, G. C. (Lyle) Johnstone; vice president, C. L. Mays; 
secretary, Fred J. Blum; treasurer, W. E. Rayburn; and the directors 
were Allen Brown, Price N. Jones, Charles Yanney, F. J. Hanley and 
John Kinsinger. 

Having perfected the organization, the services of a man who knew 
farm problems and could devote his time to helping the farmers solve 
them was given consideration. After casting about for available men, 
the association finally employed D. 0. Thompson (known as Dave). He 
was a graduate of the agricultural college of Purdue, was young and full 
of enthusiasm, and came to the position with proper equipment and 
much energy. He began work in this county in 1916 and served through 
until 1919. This covered the period of the world war, during which time 


History of McLean County 347 

the farmers of the country were called upon to make greater effort toward 
food production than at any other time in the history of the nation. 
McLean county farmers took their place alongside the best farming sec- 
tions of the country in advancing war time production and the scientific 
farming in general. Mr. Thompson's reputation had spread by his work 
here, and in 1919 he was called to higher responsibilities as secretary of 
the Illinois Agricultural Association. For several months in 1919 were 
was no official farm adviser, for the committee had difficulty in securing 
a man whom they felt could fit into the work that had been advanced by 
Mr. Thompson. In the latter part of that year, however, they employed 
0. D. Center, who was a man of more mature years and of much practical 
experience. He remained here until Sept., 1921. In that period the 
McLean County Farm Bureau (the name having been changed to that) 
employed R. L. Cuff as special livestock adviser, and he carried on that 
branch of the work until Dec, 1921. Harrison Fahrnkopf was employed 
by the Farm Bureau in the capacity of an assistant in 1920, and after the 
resignations of Mr. Center and Mr. Cuff he became the official farm 
adviser, which position he holds at this time (1923). 

The name of the Better Farming Association was changed several 
years ago to the McLean County Farm Bureau. The officers of this asso- 
ciation are: 

1923 — Simon C. Moon, Towanda, president; Sam Elkins, Dry Grove, 
vice president; Vaughn Douglas, Shirley, secretary; Walter Tenney, 
McLean, treasurer. Directors — John Kinsinger, Clifford Brown, Dave 
Stutzman, H. A. Horney, Walter Nichols, Frank Moberly, Homer Caton. 

1924 — Officers the same as for 1923, except that Harry Dixon of 
Covell succeeds Frank Moberly as director. 

The McLean County Farm Bureau began in April, 1923, its ninth 
consecutive year of existence. The organization justified its formation 
and continued existence many times over by the practical value it proved 
to its members and the farmers in general. It began with 300 members, 
and in the war times of 1917 to 1920 the membership ran up to the total 
of 3,100. In the slump of 1921 and 1922 the number dropped back to 
2,000 and has been maintained about at that figure in the last year. 
The work of the organization took on a wide range. 

For the past twenty years, the farmers of McLean county have 
maintained a winter indoor school, so to speak, known as the McLean 

348 History of McLean County 

County Farmers' Institute. The institute held in this county is one of a 
series held throughout the state under the general auspices of the State 
Agricultural Society. Formerly the institute was held for four or five 
days in the winter, always in the county seat, and addressed by a series of 
eminent speakers along different lines. Of later years, the meetings have 
been divided up into smaller units, one meeting of two or three days' 
duration, or sometimes of a single day, being held in nearly every town- 
ship of the county. Of recent years, these have been under direction of 
the McLean County Farm Bureau. The officers of the Farmers' Institute 
elected in 1920 were: C. L. Mays, president; W. E. Rayburn, secretary. 
For the year 1921, the elected officers were: W. F. Coolidge, president; 
Ralph Benjamin, vice president; W. E. Rayburn, secretary; C. E. Hill, 
treasurer. This last list of officers was re-elected for the years 1922 and 
1923. For several years past, S. B. Mason of this county has served as 
one of the directors of the State Farmers' Institute for this congressional 

The threshermen of McLean county have maintained an organiza- 
tion known as the McLean County Threshermen's Association, with the 
following officers: C. F. Kauffman, Stanford, president; A. P. Tyner, 
Danvers, vice president; H. B. Noder, Normal, secretary. 

Many years ago there used to be held an annual poultry show under 
management of a city poultry association. Of recent years this project 
has been taken over by the farmers and poultry raisers, who held a fine 
show in Dec, 1922, and another in the winter of 1923-24. The officers 
elected were: E. D. Lawrence, president; C. L. Albee, vice president; Mrs. 
F. J. Blum, Normal, secretary ; A. C. Lantz, Normal, treasurer. Directors, 
Lyle Funk, Chas. Stiger, C. E. Hill, B. Riseling, Mrs. Whitwood. A mar- 
keting auxiliary to the Poultry association was organized in March, 1923, 
to market full blood stock. Its officers were: I. N. Price of Ellsworth, 
chairman; Mrs. C. M. Fifer, Bloomington, and William Ertmoed of Lex- 
ington, directors. The board of supervisors appropriated $250 for the 
first poultry show under the auspices of this society. 

A McLean County Beekeepers' association was formed in February, 
1922, and at the first annual meeting in 1923 the following officers were 
elected: Dr. H. B. Henline, Bloomington, president; W. L. Archer, McLean, 
vice president; W. B. Brigham, Bloomington, secretary-treasurer. 

History of McLean County 349 

The McLean County Swine Breeders' association is a live and pro- 
gressive organization. Its 1923 officers were: W. D. Brickey, Bloomington, 
president; Simon Moon, Towanda, vice president; F. J. Basting, Bloom- 
ington, secretary; J. E. Donnelly, Lexington, treasurer. The association 
co-operated with the officials of the LeRoy Fair in holding the county 
Swine Show. This show was pronounced by authorities in touch with 
the different fairs of the state as ranking one of the very best held any- 
where. The large number of animals shown in the different breeds pos- 
sessed a type and quality which is the resultant only of constructive 
breeding. The members of the swine breeders association fostered the 
Boy and Girl Pig Club show. They helped make arrangements for the 
show, furnished the judges and also paid a goodly part of the prize money. 

One of the organizations in the county which has been of the incal- 
culable value to its members is the McLean County Cow Testing associa- 
tion. This association was reorganized during the past year and very 
good reports have come from the various members. There are twenty-six 
herds containing approximately six hundred seventy cows in the associa- 
tion. For the year 1921-1922 approximately one hundred unprofitable 
cows were sold. The officers for 1923 were: President, C. M. Mounts, 
McLean; secretary, J. L. Withrow, McLean; treasurer, Pearl Mauny, 

The McLean County Jersey Cattle club is formed to promote the in- 
terests of owners of Jersey cattle. The officers are: President, D. M. 
Stutzman, Chenoa ; secretary, Lloyd H. Mason, Armington ; treasurer, 
W. L. Mays, Bloomington. 

Shorthorn cattle owners and breeders also organized an association, 
whose officers in 1923 were: President, John 0. Bozarth, Gillum; vice 
president, W. T. Stautz, Bloomington; treasurer, Sam Elkins, Blooming- 
ton; secretary, Ebon C. Jones, Bloomington; directors, C. C. Brown of 
Heyworth and W. F. Mecherle of Heyworth. 

Swine breeders who are especially interested in Durocs have formed 
an association of their own, with the following officers: President, Fred 
J. Blum, Bloomington; vice president, Simon Moon, Towanda; secretary, 
F. J. Basting, Bloomington; treasurer, G. C. Johnstone, Shirley. 

Horsemen have been active and up to date in the last few years, 
in spite of the fact that the breeding of heavy horses is not now what it 

350 History of McLean County 

used to be in this county. The McLean County Percheron association is 
officered as follows: President, Dan Augstin, Carlock; vice president, M. 
L. Ramseyer, Hudson; treasurer, L. F. Stubblefield, McLean; committee- 
man, C. L. Mays, Bloomington; directors, S. L. Stutzman, Ed Miller, Fred 
Blum, E. M. Merritt, William Henline, John Peck. 

The farmers of McLean county have formed a county branch of the 
Federal Farm Loan organization, with the following officers: President, 
Frank Stewart, Lexington; vice president, John Howard, Leroy; secre- 
tary-treasurer, Harrison Fahrnkopf, Bloomington; directors, J. Ben Mc- 
Reynolds, Stanford; Mrs. Flora Orendorff, Randolph. 

One of the biggest projects which the County Farm Bureau has under- 
taken was the securing of a building for the use of the Producers' Market 
and an office headquarters for the Home Bureau and the Farm Bureau. 
The building at the corner of Center and Monroe streets in Bloomington 
was leased, and considerable money spent in remodeling and renovating 
it to make it fit for its new uses. The structure had many years ago been 
an armory, and earlier than that a library building. 

Farmers Grain Dealers Association of Illinois, an affiliation of 550 
Farmers Co-operative Elevator Companies in Illinois, was organized at 
Springfield, Feb. 19, 1903. At that time there were about 30 Farmers 
Co-operative Elevator Companies in Illinois and 17 of them were repre- 
sented at that meeting. J. C. Collins was the first president and J. A. 
McCreery the first secretary. Mr. McCreery continued his duties as man- 
ager of the Mason City Farmers Grain and Coal Company, giving only 
part of his time to the Association work. The office remained at Mason 
City while Mr. McCreery was secretary. In 1913 A. N. Steinhart was 
employed as secretary to give his full time to the work. At that time 
the office was located at Bloomington, where it has since remained. The 
association now occupies two rooms in the Peoples Bank Building, with 
Lawrence Farlow as secretary and two office assistants. Fred A. Mudge 
of Peru, 111., is president of the organization. 




One of the modern developments of McLean county which indicates 
its progress is the permanent organization of the McLean County Home 
Bureau, composed mostly of farm women and women from the rural 
communities who work together for the promotion of the best interests 
of their homes and families. The organization had its inception in the 
work of the women in the world war, and took on its permanent form 
in 1918, when the name of the McLean County Home Improvement Asso- 
ciation was taken. This name, however, was shortly changed to that of 
the McLean County Home Bureau, which is still maintained. The or- 
ganization is now in its sixth year of successful existence. McLean county 
was the eighth county in Illinois to form a Home Bureau. It is the only 
county which has constantly since it started employed the same field 
secretary, or as she is known, the home adviser, in the person of Miss 
Clara Brian. 

Mrs. Spencer Ewing of Bloomington was the moving spirit in the 
organization of the Home Bureau, and acted as its first president. She 
continued to serve for two years and a half, then was succeeded by Mrs. 
Homer R. Johnson, who filled out Mrs. Ewing's last year and served two 
other years. Mrs. F. L. Wakefield of Heyworth is the present president 
(1923). Mrs. Homer R. Johnson was the first county secretary, being 
succeeded by Mrs. Jennie Barlow, and she in turn by Mrs. Charles Yan- 
cey of McLean, the present secretary. The first treasurer was Mrs. 


352 History of McLean County 

Allen Brown of Normal, who was succeeded by Mrs. William L. Moore 
of Bloomington, and she in turn by Mrs. W. E. Clark of Bloomington. The 
last and present treasurer is Mrs. Frank L. Washburn of Bloomington. 

The county organization comprises 26 branches, one for each town- 
ship, and there being one branch for Bloomington city and one for Bloom- 
ington township. The financial backing of the Home Bureau is included 
in an annual budget of $5,500, of which sum $1,500 comes from the fed- 
eral government; $1,000 is appropriated each year by the county board 
of supervisors, and the remainder, $3,000, is secured by individual con- 
tributions in the form of annual dues of $1 each from the members. It 
is a unique fact that in the six years of the bureau's work, the member- 
ships have been maintained by the township units without any special 
drive for membership. At no time has the real work of the employed 
home adviser been diverted to solicitation for funds to maintain the 
organization. The executive management of the bureau is composed of 
the roster of county officers, together with one director for each unit, 
these composing the executive board. The headquarters of the bureau 
is in the building leased by the County Farm Bureau in Bloomington. 
Miss Brian, the home adviser, has her office there, with an office secretary 
to assist her. There were about 1,400 members in 1923, and the same 
number had made up the organization for the past few years, following 
the larger figure during the war. 

The work of the Home Bureau is varied, as the name of the organi- 
zation indicates; its aim is to make better homes and more efficient 
home-makers. In its second year, a series of courses of study for women 
was outlined and submitted to the different units for consideration. Each 
unit votes on which course it shall take, and the majority picks the course. 
This later is succeeded by other courses in turn. For instance, one course 
is on meal planning, and seven months of study is devoted to this subject. 
There have been two schools of instruction carried on in home millinery. 
A course in the making of baskets of all kinds from crepe paper rope was 
carried on, and many women became very proficient. There have been 
demonstrations in the uses of the pressure cooker, and sanitary methods 
of canning foods in tin were among the other subjects dealt with. The 
course for home nursing includes seven lessons. There is a course in 
meal planning with seven lessons. The course in sewing and textiles 
deals in practical dressmaking, artistic dressmaking, undergarments, dress 

Histury of McLean County 353 

forms, and experiences in dyeing materials. There is a second sewing 
course, in which adviser and local leader work together in demonstra- 
tions on cutting and fitting. Home accounting and equipment is the sub- 
ject of one course. Home and community life is the general topic for 
another course of five lessons. Preparation of food is the subject of 
study in one course. 

The Home Bureau publishes a monthly bulletin of four pages, which 
is supported by advertising patronage of merchants. This has been one 
of the most effective agents of the bureau's publicity work. The news- 
papers have devoted liberal quantities of space to work of the Bureau 
through all the years. 

A well organized campaign for the teaching of the value of hot 
lunches in schools, especially in the rural districts, was carried on for 
some time, and had its results in the general introduction of this valued 
feature for the proper care of children of the schools. 

That the Home Bureau may be of practical benefit in other than the 
rural districts is shown in its work in Bloomington, where in co-operation 
with the Day Nursery and the Federation of Churches it carried on a 
series of classes in home cooking at the Day Nursery, for the benefit of 
women of that section of the city who lacked opportunities which more 
favored sections enjoyed to learn of modern home methods. The Day 
Nursery furnished the equipment, the Federation of Churches the money, 
and the Home Bureau the instructor. Two years these classes have been 
in successful operation. 





The public libraries of McLean County have proved a first aid to the 
public school system. They have enabled students to pursue a wider 
range of reading than could have been possible if everyone were obliged 
to buy his own books. From the earlier years, the need of public libraries 
at several points in the county was recognized. The very first collection 
of books brought to the county was in 1833, when Amasa C. Washburn 
returned from the east with a small array of books, which he placed at 
the disposal of the Sunday school of the First Presbyterian church. 

About 1840, the Bloomington and McLean County Library was es- 
tablished with about 1,000 volumes, those responsible for its establish- 
ment being Jesse W. Fell, Dr. John F. Henry, Dr. W. C. Hobbs and James 
Allin. After being used for a few years the books became worn out and 
scattered and the library as an institution was lost. 

The Ladies' Library Association was the next organized effort to 
have a public library, it being formed at a meeting held Oct. 2, 1856, at 
Major's hall, where $417 was raised as a nucleus of a library fund. The 
library was opened in February, 1856, first in a room on Center street, 
then removed to Judge Davis' building at Front and Main, where free 
quarters had been offered. This, the predecessor of the present Blooming- 
ton library, had a changing history and many moves. In 1865 it moved 
from the Davis building to the second floor of the building at 403 North 


History of McLean County 355 

Main street, where it remained until 1871. The next move was to 109 
and 111 West Monroe street, and it remained there until the year 1887, 
when it made its final move to the building at the corner of Washington 
and East street. 

The Ladies' Library association was in 1867 incorporated as the 
Bloomington Library association. Its stock of books and other material 
increased as years rolled on, and in 1882, Mrs. Sarah B. Withers presented 
to the association the lot at Washington and East street for the purpose 
of having erected there a suitable building. The library was still under 
direction of a board of management and supported by private donations. 
The sum of $20,000 was subscribed for the building, which was con- 
structed and dedicated in December, 1887. It was named the Withers 
public library in honor of Mrs. Withers. In 1894, the board offered to 
the city of Bloomington the library and its building and grounds, subject 
only to a debt of $4,000 which remained unpaid. It was accepted by the 
city council and later a library tax was assessed for the support of the 
institution. The members of the board are now appointed by the mayor 
of the city for terms of three years. 

For a few years after the library occupied its new building, the 
upper story was used as club rooms by the Bloomington club, which paid 
a rental. However, it became necessary in time that the library have 
the entire structure, hence the Bloomington club formed plans for a bond 
issue to erect its present modern three-story brick building which stands 
east of the library. The library then remodeled the upper story of its 
building into a reading and reference room. The library has a large col- 
lection of books, upward of 40,000 volumes, and is patronized by thousands 
of Bloomington people and some from outside who pay a small fee. Miss 
Nellie Parham is the present librarian, having occupied the position for 
several years. 

The Wesleyan University has a very fine library which is independent 
of the city library. It occupies a fine new stone building which was a 
gift of Mrs. Martha Buck of Decatur as a memorial to her husband, Hiram 
Buck. The structure was erected and dedicated in 1923. It stands just 
opposite the main campus, is a massive building and very perfect in its 
appointments for the uses for which it is designed. The library prior 
to the building of the Buck Memorial, had been housed in the old academy 
building of the Wesleyan, a too small and wholly inadequate structure. 

356 History of McLean County 

The Illinois State Normal University has one of the best libraries for 
the use of the students of the school. It has been in existence and grow- 
ing from the very first year of the school. Supt. Hovey reported at the 
end of the University's first year that there were 145 volumes in the 
Philadelphia society library, same number for the Wrightonian society, 
103 public documents, 2,600 volumes in the text-book library, 95 reference 
books, and 44 maps in the geographical section. From that beginning, its 
growth has been constant. The Illinois State Natural History society 
established itself in the Normal University in 1860, bringing 500 volumes 
of scientific works. The libraries of the two literary societies increased 
to 2,000 volumes by 1890. Great quantities of public documents are re- 
ceived annually from various departments of the government. For many 
years, up to the administration of Dr. Edwards as president, the school 
furnished free text books to the students, but this practice was discon- 
tinued later and few text books remain. The books of the State Natural 
History society were divided in 1884-5, a part of them being removed to 
the University of Illinois, leaving at Normal the books adapted to teach- 
ing natural history, and these have slowly increased in number. 

The first little collection of reference works was the nucleus of the 
present library. It was at first in charge of student librarians, but in 
1899 President Hewett recommended that the books be catalogued and a 
regular librarian employed. Early in 1890 Miss Ange V. Milner was 
engaged for this work, and she still continues in charge. The books of 
the two literary societies were added to the general library, and the whole 
removed to larger rooms. On the completion of the gymnasium build- 
ing, the library was established in the second floor with ample space for 
those days, although now somewhat crowded. This move was made in 
1898. In 1914 it was moved to spacious quarters in the Model School 
building. Missionary reference books were added for the use of the Y. M. 
and Y. W. C. A. President John W. Cook and President Arnold Tompkins 
each made improvements in the administration of the library, and under 
President David Felmley other changes have been made. The methods 
of giving library instruction have been changed and improved. Students 
assist the trained librarian. The Normal University library now con- 
tains something like 20,000 bound volumes, some 10,000 pamphlets, and 
subscribes to upward of 100 periodicals. Special books connected with 
each study in the curriculum are kept, and many special works on peda- 

History gf McLean County 357 

gogical subjects are also to bo found. Students and faculty members are 
constant patrons, the library being kept open in daytimes throughout the 
year and during evenings in the summer terms. Alumni of the university 
are also frequent visitors to use the books. 

In addition to the general public library and the ones connected with 
the Wesleyan and the Normal universities, there is still another public 
library in Bloomington, it being the Chicago & Alton railroad library, 
located in a building set apart by the company for that purpose just north 



of Chestnut street and adjoining the railroad property for the accommo- 
dation of the employes. The C. & A. library association was organized at 
the home of E. M. Prince in the winter of 1879. Entertainments to secure, 
funds gave a fund of about $200 to start. Soon afterward the company 
erected the frame building for its accommodation, and directors donated 
$1,100 to a fund to buy books. The first 1,000 volumes were thus pro- 
vided, and in 1880 the association was incorporated. The incorporators 
were Mrs. E. M. Prince, Mrs. VV. O. Stahl, E. N. Edmunds and Robert 
Bell. From the start, the library was well patronized by Alton railroad 

358 History Of McLean County 

men and their families. Over 300 members are on the lists for taking 
out books regularly. Miss Margaret Fenton has been the librarian in 
charge for many years, and she is well acquainted with all the patrons 
and their needs. There are nearly 5,000 volumes, besides many periodi- 
cals regularly received. The company furnishes and lights and heats the 
building and pays the librarian. The members pay the other expenses. 

Several of the towns of McLean county outside of Bloomington have 
smaller but very complete and efficient libraries for their own people to 
use. One of the best of these is at Lexington, which was founded in 
1895 as a result of a public meeting called by Mrs. L. S. VanDolah. Money 
was pledged, an executive committee appointed, and plans made for pro- 
viding a public reading room. The first executive committee was com- 
posed of: A. J. Scrogin, chairman; Mrs. L. S. Van Dolah, vice president; 
Prof. Jesse Smith, secretary. This committee conducted the library until 
it came into control of the city of Lexington in 1897. The reading room 
was opened in January, 1896, with funds in sight for only one year's 
support. In August of that year the city council levied a one mill tax 
for library purposes, and the mayor named a board of control. Jesse L. 
Smith was the first chairman of the municipal board of control. 

The reading room developed into a full fledged library in 1898, when 
the first installment of books for general circulation was received. By 
private generosity and money raised by entertainments, frequent addi- 
tions have been made, the Woman's club and the Music club being among 
the most active supporters. About 1905 the library expanded into two 
rooms, one for adults and one for juveniles. It has a circulating stock 
of books numbering almost 2,000 volumes, and subscribes for about thirty 
periodicals. It is kept open afternoons and certain hours of the evenings. 

Miss Mary V. Gray, afterward Mrs. Benj. Bertles, was the first 
librarian, from 1896 to 1897, when she was succeeded by Lela Gray God- 
dard, who in turn was succeeded by Mrs. Ella Dooan, who served three 
years. Miss Angeline Mahan served some months in 1904, during which 
time she introduced the Dewey Decimal system of cataloging. On her 
resignation, Miss Nellie Brown was chosen, serving until 1907. Miss Anna 
V. Pierson served as the librarian for several years, until her marriage to 
Harry Blue. The present librarian is Miss Lois I. McFarland, who has 
held the position since the resignation of Miss Pierson. The make-up of 
the library board at the present time is as follows: President, Mrs. Addie 

History of McLean County 359 

J. Kennedy ; secretary, Dr. L. M. Magill ; treasurer, Mrs. Alta Arnold ; 
Mrs. Bess Schantz, Mrs. Nettie Dement, Mrs. Frances Finfgeld, Dr. W. H. 
Welch, H. Ellis, and H. L. Hyre. 

The Bloomington high school has a large library for the benefit of the 
students of that school. It has been gradually growing through the 
years, and is now established in very fine rooms in the new high school 
building which was dedicated in 1916. Miss Emma Onstott is the librar- 
ian and has filled the position with efficiency for many years. 




Aside from the Normal university, the only state institution in 
McLean county is the Illinois Soldiers' Orphans' Home, located about a 
mile northeast of the center. of Normal. It had its inception in a public 
meeting held January 19, 1864, in which the people of Bloomington sent 
a memorial to the legislature calling attention to the need of an institution 
to care for the dependent children of civil war soldiers. This memorial 
from McLean county found a ready response throughout the state, and on 
Feb. 7, 1865, the legislature passed an act establishing such a home and 
empowering the governor to appoint nine trustees. A commission of 
five persons was appointed by the governor to secure a location for this 
institution. At first there was no appropriation of state money to estab- 
lish or maintain such a home, and consequently various counties made 
voluntary donations for it in the earlier days. In 1867, an amendment 
to the original act was made, whereby a sum of $34,000 in the state 
treasury left from the "deserters' fund" was turned over to the trustees. 
A further appropriation of $70,000 was appropriated for buying grounds, 
etc. The act released the counties which had voted voluntary contribu- 
tions to the Home. 

In 1869, further amendments were made to the act, granting enlarged 
powers to the trustees. But the chief feature of this act was the appro- 
priation of $45,000 per year for the next two years for the expenses of 
the Home, besides certain other sums for buildings, etc. In the law of 


History of McLean County 


April 15, 1875, the name of the institution was officially made the "Illinois 
Soldiers' Orphans' Home." By an act of 1897, the age limit to which 
children could be kept in the Home was extended from 14 to 16 years, 
and in certain cases of peculiar need to 18 years. 













362 History of McLean County 

A law was passed in 1899 which removed the restriction of the ad- 
mittance of only civil war orphans, and made the Home accessible to or- 
phans of the soldiers or sailors of any war. Under this act, many orphans 
of Spanish war veterans were received, and lately even orphans of World 
war veterans. 

The location of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home at Normal was the 
result of liberal offers made by the citizens of Normal, under the leader- 
ship of Jesse W. Fell, who had previously been so largely instrumental in 
locating the Normal university there. 

Under the act of the legislature of 1867, the governor appointed a 
commission to locate the Home, of which Dr. H. C. John of Decatur, Col. 
W. Wiles of Bellville, Major J. M. Beardsley of Rock Island, Col. J. H. 
Raymond of Geneva, and Col. T. A. Marshall of Charleston were the mem- 
bers. This led to a lively contest, and the citizens of Normal organized 
and made pledges of money and lands estimated at $50,220. David Davis 
gave 80 acres of land, valued at $12,000, Jesse W. Fell gave ' 2,000 acres 
valued at $10,000, Kersey H. Fell gave 160 acres worth $2,000, W. H. 
Mann gave $1,000 in land, H. P. Taylor 20 acres valued at $2,400, W. A. 
Pennell gave $1,000, N. Dixon gave land worth $1,000, F. K. Phoenix 
gave 20 acres worth $2,500, while W. H. Allin, G. Diedrich and C. G. 
McClure gave $1,000 each. The Chicago & Alton donated freight haulage 
to the amount of $10,000. 

When the commission met, it was found Normal's offer amounted to 
$50,220; Springfield pledged in cash and land $60,000, and Rock Island 
gave cash and land worth $15,000. Decatur offered 22 acres of land and 
Irving 40 acres. After due consideration, On May 3, 1867, the Normal 
offer was accepted. The contracts were awarded and buildings erected, 
which were dedicated on June 17, 1869. The cost of this first main struc- 
ture was $125,000. It still stands, being four stories in height, 140 feet 
long and 80 feet wide. In 1872 more room being needed, a kitchen, and 
boiler house, were built back of the first structure, costing $6,000, and a 
steam heating plant installed at a cost of $12,000. The school house was 
erected soon afterward costing $15,000, and the hospital in 1881 for 
$5,000. In 1889 the legislature appropriated $66,618 for a new chapel, 
dining hall, new heating plant and other additions, which were soon 
erected. In 1891 an electric light plant was erected at a cost of $4,000. 
In 1895 an industrial training building for boys was erected and in 1899 

History of McLean County 363 

a new hospital was built west of the main structure costing $10,000 and 
the old hospital was changed to an industrial building for girls. A few 
years ago the cottage system was installed, and a row of cottages erected 
along the driveway south and east of the main building. In each of these 
cottages there live about thirty children in charge of a house mother, 
who has all care of them except for their schooling. There are six of 
these cottages at present. 

The Orphans' Home was first opened in a building secured for tem- 
porary use on Main street in Bloomington on August 5, 1867, nearly two 
years before the main building at Normal was completed. Mrs. Ira Mer- 
chant had charge of this temporary home. A second temporary home 
became a necessity in a few months, and another house was secured at 
Prairie and North streets, where Mr. and Mrs. B. V. Sharp were placed 
in charge. The third house was opened in February, 1868, at Springfield, 
in charge of Mrs. Virginia C. Ohr, who later became general superintend- 
ent of the new Home when opened at Normal. 

All the children from the three temporary homes were transferred 
to the new buildings at Normal on June 1, 1869, and Mrs. Ohr assumed 
charge as first superintendent. Mrs. Ohr's management of the Home con- 
tinued nearly twenty years, or until the spring of 1887. She conducted 
the institution with a minimum of friction. She introduced humanitarian 
methods of treatment which come down among the wholesome traditions 
of the Home. 

When Mrs. Ohr retired, the Home was in charge of Capt. Edwin 
Harlan, one of the trustees, for a short time, until Harvey C. DeMotte, 
who had been president of Chaddock college, was secured as superintend- 
ent. Mrs. DeMotte, who had taught English and literature at Chaddock, 
assumed the duties of matron. They took charge in June, 1887. Dr. 
DeMotte and his wife served for six years in their respective positions, 
during which time the plant was partly reconstructed and improved. 
Thirty acres of additional ground was secured at this time, and the Home 
then owned a farm of 96 acres in a rectangular form. The school was put 
upon a higher plane, as might have been expected in the hands of trained 

Charles E. Bassett was the next superintendent, he having been ap- 
pointed by Gov. John P. Altgeld after a political landslide had changed 
the state administration to democratic. The new board of trustees ap- 

364 History of McLean County 

pointed by Gov. Altgeld decided to put in a superintendent of the same 
political faith as the governor, although they admitted Dr. DeMotte's 
administration had been satisfactory. Supt. Bassett assumed charge in 
August, 1893, with his wife as matron. When in 1896 the state adminis- 
tration had again become republican, the Home saw another change, and 
J. L. Magner succeeded Capt. Bassett. The administration of Supt. Mag- 
ner was brief, owing to complaints of conditions while he was there. Col. 
Isaac L. Clements of Carbondale was appointed, with his wife as matron. 
Col. Clements did not stay long, for he received appointment to the Sol- 
diers' Home at Danville. The next superintendent was Major R. N. Mc- 
Cauley of Olney, and Mrs. McCauley came as matron. Major and Mrs. 
McCauley remained in the Home for fourteen years, and their adminis- 
tration was marked by many changes and improvements. The new hos- 
pital was erected, a new and adequate sewerage system installed, and the 
internal management of the Home improved in many ways. The system 
of cottages for the better housing of the girls was also completed during 
Maj. McCauley 's regime, in the year 1904. Maj. and Mrs. McCauley con- 
tinued in charge of the Home for fourteen years, retiring in 1913, and 
being succeeded by Edwain M. Van Petten, who had formerly been super- 
intendent of schools in Bloomington. Mr. Van Petten remained only six 
weeks, for he accepted a federal government appointment and gave up the 
work at the Home. His successor was W. H. Claggett of Lexington, who 
with his wife took charge of the Home. They remained for about four 
years, and the conditions at the institution were very satisfactory during 
their regime. On Dec. 15, 1917, John W. Rodgers of Bloomington, a well 
known business man, was appointed to the superintendency at the Home. 
He and Mrs. Rodgers remained in charge of the Home for four years. 
There was considerable progress in the modernizing of the buildings and 
the addition of new features that were needed for the comfort and con- 
venience of the children. 

In April, 1921, the appointment of Ralph Spafford of Bloomington 
to the position of managing officer of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home was 
announced from the office of Gov. Small. Mr. Spafford was sheriff of 
McLean county, and inasmuch as he could not well resign that position 
on short notice, he did not take charge at the Home until June 6 of that 
year. He is the present managing officer, being assisted in the work by 
Mrs. Spafford. The Home now accepts not only orphan children of sol- 

History of McLean County 365 

diers and sailors of all wars, but under an amendment to the law made a 
few years ago, the children who would otherwise be sent to county alms 
houses in counties of Illinois are received here to be wards of the state 
and to receive a good education. This has increased the population of 
the Home to a great extent, there being over 500 enrolled at the present 

From the time of its establishment to the present, the Soldiers' 
Orphans' Home has housed and taken care of, and educated, more than 
5,000 children who would otherwise have become inmates of alms houses 
or left to drift to the whim of fate. Under recent provisions of the law, 
many of the children left to the care of this institution have been placed 
in private homes, where their foster parents have legally adopted them. 

One of the changes of recent years is that of supervision. When the 
state departments were consolidated under Gov. Lowden, the general 
oversight of this and several other charitable establishments were put in 
the hands of the director of public welfare, the position being now (1923) 
held by Judge C. H. Jenkins of Sangamon county. The title of the resident 
manager is changed from that of superintendent to "managing officer." 

One of the most appreciated additions to the physical equipment of 
the institution is that of a fine modern gymnasium, which was first used 
some three years ago. This gives facilities for all kinds of athletic exer- 
cises and indoor games, such as are in vogue in all modern schools. The 
children of the institution have competent leadership in this line, and 
their health is accordingly conserved. 




One of the institutions of which McLean County people have reason to 
be proud is the McLean County Historical Society, started in a small way 
in 1892 and continued to the present time with ever-growing influence 
and prestige. 

On the invitation of Captain J. H. Burnham and E. M. Prince, a few 
persons assembled on March 12, 1892, for the purpose of forming a local 
historical society. 

The object of the society, according to its constitution, was "To dis- 
cover, collect and preserve whatever relates to the natural, civic, military, 
literary and religious history of Illinois in general and McLean county in 
particular; to maintain a museum and library, and to extend knowledge 
upon these subjects by appropriate meetings and publications." 

The first president of the society was Judge John M. Scott; J. B. 
Orendorff vice president; Ezra M. Prince, secretary; George P. Davis, 
treasurer, and John H. Burnham chairman of the executive committee. 
Judge Scott held the position of president until his death, when George P. 
Davis was elected to succeed him. Mr. Davis in turn held the presidency 
until his death. Mr. Prince carried on the work of the secretary of the 
society and custodian of the society's library and museum until his death. 
When Mr. Davis was promoted to the presidency, he relinquished the 
office of treasurer, and Mr. Burnham was elected to that place. 


History of McLean County 367 

Judge Scott, the first president of the society, was a man eminently 
fitted for the position. He was a native of St. Clair county, Illinois, and 
came to McLean county in 1848. He had a very wide knowledge of Illinois 
history from the beginning, and of McLean county history from its forma- 
tive period. He was the inspiration of the society during his lifetime and 
read many valuable papers at its several meetings, which papers were 
mostly preserved in the printed volumes of the society's proceedings. 
J. B. Orendorff, the first vice president, lived in McLean county all his 
life and continued to be a figure of importance until his death. 

The persons who gathered at the initial meeting included the above 
officers of the society, and in addition the following were added to the 
membership very shortly: Peter Folsom, Charles L. Capen, Joseph B. 
Weaver, Mrs. J. N. Ward, John W. Cook, Robert 0. Graham, Richard 
Edwards, Mrs. W. W. Marmon, William McCambridge. 

Within five years after the formation of the society, the directors 
had gathered the material for the publication of the first volume of the 
"Transactions." This formal title concealed a most laborious and com- 
plete work gotten out under the direct charge of Capt. J. H. Burnham and 
Ezra M. Prince, who were from the first the moving spirits of the society. 
The volume was sub-titled "War Record of McLean County." It contained 
a complete story of the part which McLean county people had borne in 
the Black Hawk war, the Mexican war and the civil war. The book con- 
tained a list of the name of all McLean county men who served in the 
civil war, together with brief histories of all the regiments which con- 
tained any McLean county men. This information was gathered with 
great pains from the records of the state adjutant general at Springfield. 
i In the same book was published the official records of the board of super- 
visors so far as it pertained to any civil war actions. The lists of the 
county officers from the foundation of the county up to that time was 
also included. A collection of miscellaneous papers on historical subjects 
completed the volume. 

The second volume of the Historical society's "Transactions" was 
published in the year 1899. The book was called the "School Record of 
McLean County," and contained many interesting papers concerning the 
development of the educational interests of the county. The third volume 
contained a complete text of all the papers and historical data collected 
at the time of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the great 

368 History of McLean County 

convention held in Bloomington on May 29, 1856, which was the founding 
of the republican party in Illinois, and at which time Abraham Lincoln 
delivered his celebrated "lost speech." This little book is the most in- 
teresting and complete work extant concerning the historic convention 
and the recollections of the persons who attended it and who were still 
alive fifty years afterward, in 1906. 

At the meeting on March 5, 1898, the death of Judge Scott, the first 
president of the society, was reported and suitable resolutions enacted. 
George P. Davis was elected president. On Dec. 5, 1898, a great memorial 
meeting in honor of John McLean, for whom the county was named, was 
held and a tablet of bronze in his honor set in the walls of the court 

• In January, 1901, the society was incorporated, and on March 14, 
1903, the following officers elected: President, George P. Davis; vice presi- 
dent, J. B. Orendorff; secretary, E. M. Prince; executive committee, 
Messrs. Burnham, Prince and Davis, Mrs. W. W. Marmon and Mrs. J. N. 
Ward. The roster of officers remained practically unchanged until the 
death of the secretary, E. M. Prince, which occurred August 27, 1908. At 
the following annual meeting, in March, 1909, the list of officers elected 
were : President, George P. Davis ; W. J. Rhodes, vice president ; secretary, 
Dwight E. Frink; treasurer, J. H. Burnham; trustees, Lafayette Funk, 
Reuben M. Benjamin, Simeon H. West, Mrs. W. J. Rhodes, Henry 

Milo Custer was appointed custodian of the museum to succeed Mr. 
Prince, on Aug. 2, 1909. At first his salary was raised by private sub- 
scriptions, but in March, 1910, the board of supervisors appropriated $480 
per year for the custodian's salary. The same list of officers served until 
1914, when George P. Davis was elected president; A. V. Pierson vice 
president ; D. E. Fink, secretary, and J. H. Burnham, treasurer. 

In May, 1916, a rule was passed that the relics for the museum should 
be confined to those specified in the constitution, only such as related in 
some way to McLean County history. No oriental or non-American relics 
are to be received. 

On Jan. 10, 1917, resolutions were passed on the death of George P. 
Davis, president of the society. Only ten days later, Jan. 20, the society 
mourned the death of Capt. J. H. Burnham, one of the charter members 


History of McLean County 369 

and a main promoter. Similar memorial resolutions on Capt. Burnham 
were adopted by the society on Jan. 29. 

On Feb. 1, 1917, W. B. Carlock was elected treasurer, and on March 
1 of that year Emanuel Rhoads was chosen custodian to succeed Milo 
Custer. Henry McCormick, who had been vice president, was chosen 
president to succeed Mr. Davis. Prof. McCormick served as president 
until his death on June 17, 1918. On the death of Prof. McCormick, Hon. 
Thomas C. Kerrick was chosen president, and he serves till the present 

Early in 1919, Dwight E. Frink, the secretary, died, and E. Rhoads 
was selected to succeed to that position. Mr. Rhoads still occupies the 

In November, 1921, appears the first record of action by the Histor- 
ical society looking to a change of location to the new McBarnes Memorial 
building when it should be completed. This society had a part in the 
laying of the corner stone on May 27, 1922. T. C. Kerrick was appointed 
to represent the Historical society on the board of management of the 
McBarnes building. The first meeting of the directors of the society was 
held in the new McBarnes building on Jan. 27, 1923. The present officers 
of the society are: Thomas C. Kerrick, president; Thomas Kennedy, first 
vice president; Scott Price, second vice president; Mrs. John McBarnes, 
third vice president, taking the place of F. H. Newcomb, who resigned ; 
W. B. Carlock, treasurer; Mr. Kerrick, N. W. Brandicon, Sue A. Sanders, 
Mary L. P. Evans, W. B. Carlock, David Davis and John G. Welch, direct- 
ors. Emanuel Rhoades was reappointed secretary and custodian of the 
society's museum. At the last annual meeting, Mrs. McBarnes was made 
a life member of the society. 

From the very first, the promoters of the society desired to assemble 
a museum of the articles, pictures and manuscripts which should preserve 
in a visible form the early history and progress of the county. The board 
of supervisors set aside a room in the court house which was built in 
1901 for the special use of the Historical society. Here was gathered a 
wonderful assemblage of relics of pioneer times, of the mementoes of all 
wars, pictures of the earlier settlers and their homes, and a thousand and 
one other articles such as a local historical museum should contain. E. M. 
Prince was appointed as custodian of the museum, and he served until his 


370 History of McLean County 

death, at a mere nominal salary, for the society had no funds except 
private donations and a small appropriation each year from the board 
of supervisors. The room in the court house soon became too small and 
too cramped for accommodation and classification of the increasing 
assemblage of relics, and for many years the chief promoters of the 
society had dreamed of a larger and fire proof building for its use. 

Such a dream came true in a measure at least along in the year 1921- 
22, when the project for the McBarnes Memorial building, as explained 
elsewhere, grew into an assured fact. In planning this building, the 
majority of the space on the first floor was set apart for the use of the 
County Historical society. When the building was completed, the society 
moved its vast museum into this room, which even from the first proved 
to be no more room than was needed, if enough. Emanuel Rhoads had 
succeeded to the office of custodian, after the death of Mr. Prince and a 
period when Milo Custer had occupied the position. Mr. Rhoads set about 
to arrange the collection of relics in a systematic manner in the new 
quarters, and he succeeded admirably, with the advice and counsel of the 
officers of the society. The museum is now the best and most complete 
to be found in Illinois outside of the state museum at Springfield. Indeed, 
there is probably no better in the middle west. 

The Historical society holds quarterly meetings, and its many valu- 
able and comprehensive papers have served to preserve in permanent form 
the material of local history which would otherwise have been irreparably 
lost. The officers of the society have, in mind the publication of another 
volume of "Transactions" at some time in the near future, which will 
make available some of the material which has been prepared since the 
second volume appeared. The Historical society museum is open to the 
public every day, and is visited by hundreds of people every year. 




McBarnes Memorial Building.— One of the outgrows of the world 
war as it affected McLean county was to bring to the surface the munifi- 
cent generosity of one of the county's well known wedded couples, Mr. 
and Mrs. John McBarnes of near Holder, who were the instruments by 
which the soldiers and sailors of all the wars are to perpetually enjoy a 
great building erected for their especial benefit. It stands at the south- 
east corner of Grove and East street, the same corner on which stood for 
many years the home of Dr. Stipp and earlier of James Allin, the building 
first used as a court house or county building. The Stipp house had been 
torn down several years before the world war, and the lot was vacant 
when the proposition of erecting there a memorial building was first 

Housed within the friendly walls of this handsome McBarnes Memor- 
ial edifice are the patriotic organizations of the city and county, who for 
years to come will enjoy the privileges that have been made possible by 
the donor of the building and the taxpayers of the county, who, through 
the efforts of the Board of Supervisors, provided the splendid site upon 
which the stately structure now stands. 

In the fall of 1920 the people of McLean county voted to erect a suit- 
able building as a memorial to those of her sons who had made the great 
sacrifice. However, it was found that no provision was made for further 
taxing powers to provide funds sufficient to warrant such an undertaking 


372 History of McLean County 

and this necessitated the abandonment of the plan. Again in June, 1921, 
the proposition of a bond issue and additional taxing power was sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people, and upon this occasion the issue was 
defeated by a decisive vote. 

During the time that intervened between the elections, the Board 
of bupervisors had contracted for a location for the building, and even 
though the bond issue was defeated, they were under contract for the 
purchase of the Stipp lot, bounded by Grove, Albert, Olive and East streets. 

The site being only six blocks from the public square was considered 
ideal for such a building, not only because of its location but by reason of 
the historical lore which this spot holds. It was upon this site that once 
stood the McLean county court house where the immortal Abraham Lin- 
coln practised law and made many of the great addresses which have come 
down through the years as an inspiration to succeeding generations. 

It was just at a time that the soldiers of the county and the public 
spirited citizens who had favored the erection of a building, were about 
to give up in despair, that John McBarnes appeared before the Board of 
Supervisors and made a proposition to donate dollar for dollar to a fund 
for the erection of a Memorial building. The board found that they were 
without funds and could not accept the offer of Mr. McBarnes. Mr. 
McBarnes then presented another proposition in which he agreed to pay 
the sum of $125,000 for the erection of the building, providing the super- 
visors would provide a suitable site. The county board provided the Stipp 
lot and the contract for the erection of the building was signed on Sept. 
24, 1921. 

On Oct. 26, 1921, Mr. McBarnes passed to his reward, without living 
to see the ground broken for this building which was commenced April 
1, 1922. On May 27, 1922 the corner stone was laid and the structure was 
dedicated on April 30, 1923. 

The building is three stories in height, one hundred feet wide and 
eighty feet deep. This leaves on the rear of the lot, 141 feet upon which 
is to be erected a Memorial auditorium, and for which funds are to be 
raised by the local organization within a period of five years. The struc- 
ture is of the monumental type, of grey pressed brick, trimmed with 
Bedford stont. 

The building is managed and controlled by a board of management 
composed of one member of each organization for each one hundred of 

History of McLean County 


374 History of McLean County 

its membership, one member from the board of supervisors and one mem- 
ber of the McLean County Historical society. 

The building committee spent $132,000 for the actual construction of 
the building. The furnishings as furnished by the county, cost $17,000. 
Upon entering the first floor of the building, one first comes into the spa- 
cious lobby, which is furnished with a library table, two formal high back 
chairs, and on the west wall of the lobby are large pictures of Mr. and 
Mrs. John McBarnes. On the east wall is the huge bronze tablet contain- 
ing the names of all of the McLean county soldiers, sailors and marines 
who lost their lives in the World war. 

Immediately to the left of the lobby is the room occupied by the Grand 
Army of the Republic. This contains a large rug, leather furniture, card 
tables, chairs, and other equipment necessary for the comfort of the 

On the right of the lobby are a suite of rooms occupied by the state 
department of the American Legion, consisting of private offices for the 
commander and adjutant and for finance department and a spacious work 
room for the clerical force. There is a large vault for the records and a 
stock room for supplies. 

At the end of the lobby will be found the McLean County Historical 
society, which has one of the largest and finest collections of relics, curios, 
and historical data of varied character of any organization in Illinois 
with the exception of the State Historical society. 

In quarters in the southeast corner of the building are located the 
colored soldiers, whose quarters are furnished in keeping with the other 
appointments of the building. 

Across the front of the second floor is a room 22 by 50 feet in dimen- 
sions which is used as a lounge room. At the east end of this room is a 
brick fire place which adds to the homelike atmosphere of the place. A 
handsome rug 18 by 46 covers the floor; there is a library table in the 
center; there are nine pieces of overstuffed velour furniture, eight chairs 
upholstered in tapestry and two mahogany writing desks with chairs to 
match. The three large windows in the front are hung with cretonne 

To the east of the lounging room is the board of manager's office, 
coat rooms and toilet. To the west of the lounging room are the office 
rooms occupied by the local post of soldiers organizations. 

History of McLean County 375 

In the center of the second floor is the music room. There are six 
French plate glass doors leading from this to adjoining rooms. A rug 18 
by 32 feet covers the floor. The furnishings consist of two leather daven- 
ports, library table and twelve fumed oak chairs. This is also used as 
a reading room. 

At the rear of the building on the second floor, will be found the bil- 
liard and recreation room. This is equipped with two billiard and four 
pool tables and card tables. 

To the east of the recreation room is the canteen which is equipped 
with an eight foot soda fountain, small steam table from which sand- 
wiches and coffee are served. There is also a cigar and candy stand* 

Extending from front to rear in the center of the third floor, is the 
assembly room which is 51 by 78 feet in dimensions. There are three 
large windows across the front and false or mirrowed windows in the 
rear. There are three sets of French doors on either side. The walls are 
tinted grey, trimmed with mahogany. The furniture consists of one 
hundred mahogany chairs and mahogany pedestals. 

On the northwest corner of the third floor will be found the ladies' 
parlor. It is covered with a large taupe rug and his thirty-two pieces 
of frosted wicker furniture. Immediately south of this room is the 
ladies' retiring room. 

In the southwest corner is located the store room, where four hun- 
dred feet of collapsible banquet table and three hundred folding chairs 
are housed when not in use. 

In the northeast corner is the men's smoking room which has two 
9 by 12 rugs and twelve pieces of wicker furniture. 

In the southeast corner is the kitchen. This is thoroughly equipped 
to banquet four hundred people. There is a large supply of dishes, silver- 
ware, etc., a large double gas range, battery of coffee urns, work tables 
and other necessary equipment. 

The structure, both inside and out, is of ornate design, is complete 
in all its appointments and is withal, a building of which the soldiers and 
citizens of the city and county must have just cause to be proud. 

Willis S. Harwood of Bloomington was the chairman of the building 
committee during the erection of the McBarnes building. Ben S. Rhodes 
was vice chairman; Harris K. Hoblit, treasurer; Oscar Hoose, secretary; 
John Bozarth, Charles P. Kane, Walter Arbogast and T. F. Harwood were 

376 History of McLean County 

the other members of the committee. Mr. McBarnes chose some of the 
members of the committee and the American Legion selected the others. 
The ones chosen by Mr. McBarnes were W. S. Harwood, Messrs. Hoblit, 
Bozarth and Arbogast. The ones selected by the Legion were Secretary 
Rhodes, Oscar Roose, Charles P. Kane and T. F. Harwood. 

Court Houses. — In the course of its history, McLean County has 
built four court houses. The first building used as a court house was 
really the residence of James Allin, situated on the block bounded by 
East, Grove, Albert and Olive streets. Here the first term of court was 
held in September, 1831, but it did not do any business except receive the 
report of the grand jury, which had held its session out of doors under 
a tree. James Allin was clerk, Cheney Thomas sheriff and Thomas 
Orendorff bailiff. In the year 1832, September, the first jury trial was 
held at the same place, the case of Steer vs. Dawson, growing out of the 
defendant taking up cattle without advertising. The first divorce case 
was Neville vs. Neville, the wife being granted a divorce. An important 
case of that time was that of the Illinois Central Railroad Company 
against the county of McLean, involving the power of the legislature to 
exempt the road from taxation on its paying a certain sum. Abraham 
Lincoln was the company's attorney, and he afterward sued for his fee 
of $5,000, which the jury allowed him. 

All four of the court houses were built on the square bounded by 
Jefferson, Main, Washington and Center streets. The first was a one- 
story frame building 18x30 feet, divided into three rooms. It was built 
in 1832 by Asahel Gridley for $339.25. It was used also for a school 
house and public meetings. 

The second court house was erected in 1836 and used for 30 years. 
Leander Munsell was the builder, and the cost was $6,375. It was brick, 
two stories high, 40x45 feet, contained five rooms. It had doors on alf 
four sides. It was used for many political meetings, but the commis- 
sioners refused its use to the Abolitionists, as they were considered 
enemies of the country. One of the stirring scenes in this building was 
on May 25, 1862, when within a short time a military company of 248 men 
was recruited for emergency guard duty at Springfield to replace other 
companies who had been sent to the front. Many noted judges presided 
in this building, including Samuel H. Treat, T. Lyle Dickey, Oliver L. 

History of McLean County 377 

Davis, Charles Emmerson, David Davis, John M. Scott. Among the noted 
lawyers were Abraham Lincoln, John T. Stuart, Stephen T. Logan, James 
Shields, James A. MacDougall, Edward D. Baker, Leonard Swett and 
Robert G. Ingersoll. 

The third court house was erected in 1868 and was used until it was 
ruined in the big fire of 1900. A. B. Ives, as chairman of the board of 
supervisors, cast the deciding vote on the question of building a new 
court house. It was 11 years later, in 1879, that the building commis- 
sion reported the building completed at a cost of $404,727.51. The exter- 
ior was of Joliet limestone, and the structure was large and beautiful 
and convenient. In the fire of June 19, 1900, the wooden window frames 
and other parts caught fire and the heat ruined the stone facings, so 
that the board voted to tear down the building and erect another. 

The fourth and present court house was built of Bedford sandstone 
with interior finishings of marble and scagliola. It is conveniently ar- 
ranged, and contains besides the offices for the county officials large rooms 
where the Historical Society and the old soldiers had headquarters until 
the McBarnes Memorial building was erected in 1922, when these latter 
organizations were removed to that structure. The total cost of this 
building was $474,000, which was paid off in five years after the building 
bonds were issued. During the building of this court house, all county 
business was done in old Turner Hall on South Main street. 

County Jails. — The first county jail was erected in 1831 on the north 
line of the court house yard, 16x16 feet in dimensions, and costing $331. 
It was built of hewed logs and contained one room above the other. One 
of the rooms of the jail was a dungeon. On July 4, 1836, the first jail 
delivery of the county occurred, when one Dick Morrow, deliberately 
crawled out of the window between the bars and began looking for the 
sheriff to help him celebrate the 4th. In 1837 the jail was condemned as 
unfit for use, and on July 6, 1836, the board contracted with Dr. Isaac 
Baker for a new jail. The second jail was built at the corner of Market 
and Center streets. It was of brick exterior and with hewed logs on 
the inside below. The top floor was finished like a dwelling house. This 
building cost $1,500 and was used as a jail until 1849. It was torn down 
in 1857. The third jail was built at the northwest corner of the court 
house square in 1848, the contract going to William F. Flagg for $2,216. 

378 History of McLean County 

It was a two-story brick structure 20x41. There were two compartments 
in the jail proper, one for persons arrested for crime, the other for those 
imprisoned for debt. Outside the building was a stockade, with toilet 
accommodations, etc. An ell built on the main part was for residence 
purposes for the jailer. 

The fourth jail was built at the corner of Center and Market, on the 
site where the second jail was torn down. It was erected in 1857 and cost 
$13,150. It was two stories in height and contained the sheriff's residence 
in addition to the jail. This building, meant to house ten prisoners, was 
considered a model when it was erected. It was continued in use for 20 
years, during which the county grew from 22,000 to nearly 60,000 popu- 
lation, and of course the jail was outgrown. Sometimes there were 40 
prisoners in the spacer meant for ten. George Perrin Davis, chairman of 
the committee on public buildings, made a report to the board of super- 
visors in 1879 condemning the building for further use as a jail. There 
had been several escapes of prisoners owing to the weakened condition of 
the iron gratings of the cells. The matter hung fire before the board 
until March 8, 1881, when the contract for the fifth and last jail was let. 

The jail at the southwest corner of Center and Market streets was 
the scene of the only lynching in the history of McLean County. One 
night in October, 1831, Frank Pierce, who had been put in jail on a charge 
of stealing a horse from Guy Carlton, tried to break out. In so doing, he 
secured a gun and shot the jailer, Teddy Franks, who died shortly after- 
ward. A crowd gathered at the jail, and in spite of the efforts of Sheriff 
Joseph Ator, to prevent their getting the prisoner, they dragged him from 
the jail and hanged him to a tree in a vacant lot at the northeast corner 
of the street. Afterward the crowd quietly dispersed. 

The present jail stands on a lot at the corner of Madison and Monroe 
Streets; is built of brick and limestone trimmings, and contains the 
jail proper and the sheriff's residence. It cost $72,000 when built, and has 
been several times remodeled. The residence is separated from the jail 
proper, so that the sheriff's family is not required to mingle with prison- 
ers except when necessary for feeding them. In addition to the usual 
cell tiers, there are compartments for boys, for women, and separate 
rooms for the temporary detention of insane persons. It is equipped 
with suitable sanitary arrangements. Of late years many of the federal 
prisoners sentenced to confinement by judges at Peoria, Springfield and 

History of McLean County 379 

other federal courts, have been sent to McLean County to serve their 
sentences, owing to the fact that the jail in this county is superior to 
those of many other counties. 

Motor Car and Era of Paved Roads. — One of the chief factors in the 
retardation of the development of McLean County was the fact that while 
our soil was excellent for raising crops, it was abominable in its natural 
state for the building of a road for constant travel. The nature of the 
soil was and is such that when it is soaked with water it is of the con- 
sistency of putty or worse. This natural condition of the soil, added to 
the fact that in the early years it was overgrown with long prairie grass, 
and its natural surface crossed by sloughs and shallow streams, made the 
general body of the land in McLean County a terror to travelers. Before 
the land begun to be drained or improved, it was for perhaps six months 
of the year so soft and yielding in its consistency that it would not bear 
up a wagon and team, and hardly hold a horse and rider. 

Indian trails formed the nearest approach to what we would now call 
a road in McLean County. The earliest immigrants who settled here, 
soon found the shortest cut from grove to grove, and made a sort of rude 
kind of road along these routes. The Legislature wrestled with road ques- 
tions from its earliest years. It laid out many "state roads" on paper, 
but these in fact were about as impassable as the uncharted trails of the 
Indians. Not many years after the first settlers came to McLean County, 
there was what was called the Bloomington and Springfield state road, 
and there was a general notion of a main traveled road from Peoria east, 
which crossed this county. The Galena lead mines were one of the prin- 
cipal industries of Illinois in the '30's, and roads leading to them were 
laid out from many points in the state. When stock dealers or others 
wanted to drive to Chicago, they just cut straight across the prairie as 
best they could find their way. There was little semblance of a road to 
guide them. 

The streams were of course unbridged for many years. The people 
had no money to build bridges, and no engineering skill to construct them 
even if they had had the money. Sometimes farmers of a neighborhood 
would get together and build some sort of a rough bridge that would sup- 
port their wagons in crossing the Mackinaw River, Kickapoo Creek, Money 
Creek or Salt Creek. It was not until after township organization had 

380 History of McLean County 

been adopted in 1858 that the question of bridges received any co-opera- 
tive attention. The townships one after another took up the subject and 
voted funds to build the most necessary bridges. 

By the time of the Civil War something of an attempt to make main 
roads north and south and east and west had been accomplished. They 
might be traveled with some hope of progress in the summer and fall 
when the weather was dry, but for the winter and spring months the 
people were practically marooned in their own homes, except as dire neces- 
sity compelled them to undertake the hazards and discomforts of travel by 
horseback or team. 

The "good roads" question has therefore been a constant issue with 
the people of McLean County, from the earliest times until the very 
recent past, when a program of state and county aid in building roads bids 
fair to at last "pull Illinois out of the mud." 

Many a time has the question of road building become a live politi- 
cal issue for the past forty years. In the earlier days of agitation for the 
improvement of the highways, it required a brave man to suggest that 
an artificial hard surface could be applied to an Illinois mud road and 
make a construction that would stand up under the effect of rains, at a 
cost that would not actually bankrupt the whole population. 

One of the "good roads" conventions when the agitation became 
acute was that held in Bloomington on Sept. 19, 1899. This was a dis- 
trict affair, the delegates coming from McLean and many surrounding 
counties. Capt. S. Noble King was the presiding officer. After two days 
of discussions, the meeting adopted resolutions to the effect that paved 
roads were impracticable, but that the delegates would all go home and 
boost for the best dirt roads that they could make. 

This agitation had its effect nevertheless, and within a few years 
afterward, the people of Bloomington voted a tax of something like $20,000 
to construct two strips of "hard road" west and south of the city limits 
of Bloomington. This road was built under the general direction of James 
G. Melluish and it stands today, although nearly worn out. 

Some of the outside townships, notably Lexington, many years ago 
took practical steps toward improving the roads outside of Lexington for 
several miles in each direction. The people of that township were fortu- 
nate in having a supply of gravel along the Mackinaw River bottoms, and 
the township road commissioners supervised the distribution of this ma- 

History of McLean County 381 

terial along the roads. The consequence was that Lexington had grav- 
eled roads that were several hundred per cent better than the average 
dirt road, for many years prior to the general movement for improved 
highways got under way. 

But to return to the subject of paved roadways: Some fifteen years 
ago a number of enterprising farmers and other people down the road 
toward Shirley, assisted by citizens of Bloomington, raised a fund for 
putting a hard surface on the Bloomington-Shirley road. The Funks fur- 
nished a large proportion of the money for this interesting experiment, 
which was the most pretentious road building enterprises that had been 
undertaken in McLean County up to that time. The road was built of 
a composition of asphalt and other ingredients put down on a foundation 
of crushed rock. It stood up under the traffic conditions for several 
years, until the multiplication of automobiles made it impossible to hold 
up longer, and it had about gone to pieces prior to the project by which 
the State of Illinois built the paved road from Bloomington to Shirley 
along what was known as the Illini boulevard road. 

The factor above all others which contributed to good roads senti- 
ment in McLean County, as elsewhere, was the advent of the motor car, 
or as it was first known as the "horseless wagon." It is not the province 
of this history to trace the origin of the invention of the automobile, but 
when this form of locomotion became a practical affair in the United 
States, McLean County took up the new vehicle and adopted it for gen- 
eral use as fast as the people understood it. The first motor vehicle 
brought to Bloomington was a steam-engine propelled machine owned by 
E. E. Ellsworth, an engineer on the Alton road. It was viewed as a great 
curiosity at first, but gradually other machines came to the city and 
county, and the era of motor travel had dawned for this section. 

Motor cars demanded a better and more constant road that they 
could travel. At first the owners of motor cars put them up for the win- 
ter as soon as the roads got muddy in the autumn. But this was an uneco- 
nomical use of the expensive machines, for from one-third to one-half of 
their time was wasted. Therefore people said that the all-round year 
round road must be made. Therefore under the administration of Gov- 
ernor Lowden the Legislature passed a law granting permission for the 
state to embark upon a stupendous road building program. A bond issue 
of 860,000,000 was put up to the people, and passed by a very large vote. 

382 History of McLean County 

The bonds were to be paid by license fees paid by the automobile owners. 
There was very general support of the proposal by newspapers of all 
kinds, and by organizations of every sort. The result was that out of 
661,815 votes cast on the proposition, 507,419 were favorable to it. The 
vote was taken in November, 1918, and at once thereafter steps were 
taken to bring before the Supreme Court the question of the constitution- 
ality of the law. The court sustained the law, and plans were made to 
carry out its provisions. 

Illinois meantime had secured $3,300,000 from the government allot- 
ment as its share of the $75,000,000 appropriated to aid states in build- 
ing roads. 

McLean County, however, had built some paved road prior to the let- 
ting of the first state contract for roads in this county. A strip of about 
three miles in length was constructed east of the city limits of Blooming- 
ton on Empire Street, and later another short strip to connect with it on 
the east end. 

The state road building program got started so far as McLean County 
is concerned, in the years of 1922 and '23. The hard road paralleling the 
Alton railroad extends clear across the county, this being part of the 
great Chicago-St. Louis paved roadway to be known as the Illini boule- 
vard. Another road, to extend eventually from Peoria east to Paxton 
and beyond, is partly built, from Bloomington west to the county line and 
beyond. Still another state road is under way, north and south, known 
as the Meridian Trail road, to pass eventually from Cairo to Rockford. 




Extinct Towns and Villages. — In the course of years there have been 
many towns proposed and some of them laid out on paper or perhaps 
actually surveyed and platted, which events of later years caused to be 
abandoned. The county has several such, which are worthy of a passing 
note in a chronicle like this. 

Clarksville was laid out by Joseph and Marston C. Bartholomew in 
1836 in Money Creek Township. It contained twenty-four lots. Gen. 
Bartholomew was a noted man of his time, having been a commander in 
the Indian wars. Clarksville at one time had a two-story hotel, a card- 
ing mill, several business houses, and its population numbered 300. After 
Gen. Bartholomew died in 1840, the village fell into decay, and finally only 
one or two buildings and the cemetery mark its site. 

Monroe was laid out in Empire township by John W. Badderly the 
year before LeRoy was platted. It never grew to large dimensions, and 
when Gen. Gridley and M. L. Covell laid out Leroy they gave Badderly 
27 lots in the new town and he moved his buildings to Leroy, where he 
continued for many years in business. 

Lytleville was laid out in 1836 by John Baldwin, consisting of 85 
lots located in section 23 of Randolph township, northeast of Heyworth. 
Peru was another town in the same township on section 24. The latter 
never had any buildings in it, being a paper town. Lytleville once aspired 
to become the metropolis, even competing for the county seat. A saw 


384 History of McLean County 

mill located on the Kickapoo had been erected by James Hedrick, and this 
mill formed the center of Baldwin's town. But fate was against Bald- 
win, and in spite of his energy he was never able to permanently establish 
his little city. Baldwin added a grist mill to his saw mill, and at one 
time did a flourishing business. There are now (1923) only two old build- 
ings left standing in Lytleville. 

A town called Livingston was once projected in White Oak town- 
ship, but it never got beyond the paper stage. 

Oak Grove was another village in White Oak township, located on 
section 28, and from 1878 to '88 it looked promising. Several stores, a 
postoffice, mill, harness shop and twenty dwellings were erected. In 1887 
when the Lake Erie railroad passed a mile and a half southwest of Oak 
Grove and the town of Carlock established on the railroad, most of the 
buildings in Oak Grove were moved to Carlock, and the former village 

Pleasant Hill was laid out on section 21, Lexington township on April 
6, 1840, and twelve years later an addition of 48 lots was planned. Isaac 
Smalley was the founder of the town, and the name was appropriate to' 
the location. Smalley was a live citizen and gave his energy to promotion 
of his settlement, at one time having succeeded in having there three 
churches, several stores, several work shops, one Academy of fifteen 
rooms, and some 50 dwellings. Smalley tried to get the Alton railroad to 
pass through his town, but it finally went through Lexington and Pon- 
tiac, passing by Pleasant Hill and sounding the latter town's death knell. 
The town of Oneida, east of Pleasant Hill, was another of Smalley's 
dreams, but after his death in 1855 both towns degenerated, only two or 
three houses still remaining at Pleasant Hill. 

Danvers township was the site of the once planned town of Wilkes- 
borough, in section 24. It was laid out in 1837, and in 1859 had some 
fifteen families residing within its boundaries. At one time the postoffice 
was at Wilkesborough, and the people of Concord (Danvers) had to go 
there to get their mail. The town, however, died out and Danvers 

The village of Mt. Hope was laid out June 16, 1837, by William Peck, 
agent of the Farmers' and Mechanics' emigrating society, being located 
near where the town of McLean now stands. It was a part of the Mt. 
Hope colony scheme, promoted in Rhode Island, by which each stockholder 

History of McLean County 385 

was to have 320 acres of land and four town lots. The panic of 1837 hit 
the colonization scheme and destroyed the hopes of the village. A certain 
Dr. Whipple had the largest house built, and there were several others. 
When the Alton road was built and the village of McLean was established, 
the church and other buildings were moved from Mt. Hope to McLean, and 
the town plat was vacated and reverted to farm lands about 1854, when 
Hudson Burr and others bought the site. 

A town called Newcastle was once laid out about two miles from 
Atlanta, but it was abandoned when the Alton road established a station 
at Atlanta. 

West was the name applied to a proposed town in West township 
which never got further than the paper stage. 

Just across the line over in Woodford county north of the McLean 
County border, was the town of Bowling Green, which early promised to 
rival Bloomington as a trading center. Four miles west of Bowling Green 
was a rival town, Verseilles, and these two competed for many years to 
become county seat of Woodford. Verseilles finally won and enjoyed the 
reputation of a county seat for several years. When the Illinois Central 
road was built, a few miles east, both Bowling Green and Verseilles 
went backward and finally disappeared. 

Political History. — It is a cause of pride for McLean County that it 
has a political record worthy of its people. It has furnished a number 
of distinguished men to the state and nation, and has taken an active and 
patriotic part in every election, local, state or national. The first record 
of political feeling among the people living in this section is that of a 
history written by the late Capt. J. H. Burnham many years ago, in 
which he told of the sentiments of the settlers at Blooming Grove in the 
presidential election of 1824 as being "decidedly in favor of freedom." 
The slavery question was paramount at that time. The first political divi- 
sion with which the people came in contact was the organization of Oren- 
dorff voting precinct, which was a part of Tazewell county and took in a 
wide stretch of territory. 

The election of 1832 was the first one in which the people here took 
a part after the organization of McLean county. The leaders of the 
Democratic party in its early history were Gen. Merritt L. Covell, Gen. 
Henry Miller, Welcome P. Brown, and Gov. John Morr Moore. Covell 
and Miller were heroes of the Black Hawk war. 

386 History of McLean County 

The Whig leaders of the early days were Jesse W. Fell, David Davis, 
Asahel Gridley, Gen. Joseph Bartholomew and Dr. John F. Henry. 

John Moore was the most successful politician of the county in his 
times. He was a member of the house, of the state senate, lieutenant 
governor, and state treasurer. In the Mexican war he became lieutenant- 
colonel of the Fourth Illinois volunteer regiment. He was a man of great 
ability and wide popularity. 

Welcome P. Brown was the first McLean county man to be elected 
to the legislature, this being in 1834. The following term, John Moore 
and George Hinshaw, Democrats, were both elected. 

The Mexican war period saw political feeling aroused to a high pitch 
in McLean county as elsewhere. Coming on down to 1851, the time of 
the granting of the charter for the Illinois Central railroad through Illi- 
nois, McLean county was fortunate to have as a member of the state sen- 
ate Gen. Gridley, by whose shrewd work alone the railroad was routed 
through his district, composed of McLean, DeWitt and Macon counties, 
and thus the cities of Bloomington, Clinton and Decatur were assured of 
the new road. Gen. Gridley was a Whig, a man of force and eloquence 
and a person of great influence in the senate. 

One of the periods of high tide in politics of McLean county was that 
prior to the Civil war, when the agitation on the slavery question was 
shaping itself along lines which later led to the Civil war. Of course the 
great personage who stands out shoulders and head above all others in 
that time was Abraham Lincoln, and his name and fame are closely 
woven into McLean county history in those days. As a lawyer he trav- 
eled this circuit, and as a politician was a familiar figure and a welcome 
guest at every gathering. Some of his closest personal friends were 
McLean county men, such as David Davis, Jesse Fell and others. It is the 
most interesting fact of local history, perhaps, that when Lincoln became 
a subject of serious discussion for the presidential nomination, it was 
Jesse Fell of Bloomington who besought him to write a short biography 
of himself, in order that it might be sent broadcast over the country 
and the people informed as to his life. Mr. Lincoln thereupon sat down 
and on two short • sheets of paper wrote that famous autobiography of 
himself which has become a classic in American political literature, and 
copies of which have been put into every library and political history of 
the country. The original manuscript of Lincoln's autobiography was in 

History of McLean County 387 

the hands of the daughters of Jesse Fell until recent times. It may event- 
ually become the property of the United States government in its Wash- 
ington archives. 

The most famous political convention ever held in McLean county 
was that of May 29, 1856, when the formation of the Republican party 
in Illinois was cemented and when Lincoln as one of the delegates and 
the principal orator of the occasion delivered one of his most masterly 
speeches, which became known as the "lost speech." The fiftieth anni- 
versary of that occasion was celebrated in a notable way in Blooming- 
ton on May 29, 1906, when many of the survivors of the convention were 
present and gave their personal reminiscences of the occasion. To pre- 
serve these personal recollections in permanent form, the McLean County 
Historical society published a volume embodying the complete proceed- 
ings of the anniversary celebration. That volume gives the whole story 
and it can be only briefly referred to here. The convention in Blooming- 
ton was inspired by a meeting of newspaper editors held in Decatur on 
February 22 preceding, at which resolutions were passed defining the 
principles of the new party which was then coming into being. The 
Decatur convention called for the later meeting in Bloomington whose 
purpose was to nominate a slate of candidates for state offices and offi- 
cially launch the new party. Suffice it to say that the speech of Lincoln 
at that May convention served to cement the various elements of the 
newly formed party in a harmonious whole, and started the Republican 
party upon its long series of triumphs in the state of Illinois. 

The joint debates between Lincoln and Douglas in the senatorial 
campaign of 1858, further served to elevate Lincoln to a place of promi- 
nence in Illinois and the nation. None of these debates took place in 
McLean county, but two years later at the state Republican convention in 
Decatur Lincoln was formally proposed for nomination for president, 
which proposal was accepted in the Chicago convention in June. The 
three men most influential in securing Lincoln's nomination were Jesse 
W. Fell, David Davis and Leonard Swett. Then followed the war, the 
emancipation proclamation, the thirteenth amendment to the constitu- 
tion, and the end of the long slavery contest in the United States. 

The next notable political epoch so far as McLean county is con- 
cerned was in 1868, when David Davis was prominently mentioned for 
president before the meeting of the liberal Republican convention at Cin- 

388 History of McLean County 

cinnati in May. Davis received a large vote at one time, but his strength 
finally went to Greeley, who was nominated and defeated at the election. 

In the wave of monetary agitation which arose in the '70's, Adlai E. 
Stevenson was elected to congress on the greenback-democratic ticket. 
One of the factors of a political nature was the constitutional convention 
of 1870, at which Judge Reuben M. Benjamin of McLean county first 
wrote into a legal document the doctrine on which was based legislation 
for the public control of the railroads. In the presidential deadlock of 
1876, Adlai E. Stevenson of this county voted in congress for the elec- 
tion of an electoral commission to settle the dispute, which course of 
action probably prevented armed strife. 

Two men from McLean county became successively governor of Illi- 
nois along in the '80's. John M. Hamilton was elected lieutenant-gover- 
nor in 1880, and he became governor on February 6, 1883, when Gov. 
Cullom was elected United States senator. Joseph W. Fifer was elected 
governor in 1888 and served a term of four years with high honor, being 
defeated for re-election in the Democratic landslide of 1892. The latter 
year saw another McLean county man elevated to high station, when 
Adlai E. Stevenson was elected vice president of the United States. His 
term of four years at Washington under President Cleveland was a period 
of fine public service. In 1908, Mr. Stevenson was the unsuccessful can- 
didate of his party for governor of Illinois. 

In the great campaign year of 1912, when the Republican party was 
split by the formation of the Progressive party with Theodore Roosevelt 
as its head, a McLean county man was called into service as Progressive 
candidate for governor in the person of Frank H. Funk, who had pre- 
viously been state senator. Mr. Funk made a good showing, for he ran 
within a few thousand votes of the regular Republican nominee, Deneen. 
The Democratic candidate, Edward F. Dunne, was elected. 

Several citizens of McLean county have served their state and coun- 
try in appointive offices of great responsibility. Gov. Fifer served many 
years on the interstate commerce commission in Washington. Carl S. 
Vrooman was assistant secretary of agriculture in the Woodrow Wilson 
administration. There have been several judges, including Judge David 
Davis of the supreme court, Judge Lawrence Weldon of the U. S. court of 
claims, Judge Louis FitzHenry of the Southern Illinois Federal judicial 

History of McLean County 389 

district, Judge Martin A. Brennan of the Illinois state court of claims. 
Judge Wesley M. Owen served as federal judge in the Panama canal zone 
for several years. 

The political history and tendencies of the voters of McLean county 
may be traced in the total vote cast for candidates for president in the 
different elections held since 1832, when the first recorded balloting in 
this county took place. The results by years were as follows: 

1832— Clay (Whig) 128; Jackson (dem) 275. 

1836— Clay (Whig) 425; Van Buren (dem) 427. 

1840 — Harrison (Whig) 683 ; Van Buren (dem) 531. Birney, abo- 
litionist, received 159 votes in Illinois but none in McLean county. 

1844— Clay (Whig) 586; Polk (dem) 477; Birney (abol) 22. 

1848— Taylor (Whig) 753 ; Cass (dem) 626 ; Van Buren (free soil) 94. 

1852— Scott (Whig) 1,256; Pierce (dem) 1,058; Hale (free soil) 40. 
1856 — Fremont (rep) 1,937; Buchanan (dem) 1,517; Fillmore (Ameri- 
can) 650. 

I860— Lincoln (rep) 3,547; Douglas (dem) 2,567; Bell (union) 58; 
Breckinridge (dem) 7. 

1864— Lincoln (rep) 4,001; McClellan (dem) 2,582. 

1868— Grant (rep) 5,895; Seymour (dem) 3,858. 

1872— Grant (rep) 5,845; Greeley (lib dem) 3,335. 

1876— Hayes (rep) 6,363; Tilden (dem) 4,410; Cooper (greenback) 

1880— Garfield (rep) 7,317; Hancock (dem) 5,202; Weaver (green- 
back) 317. 

1884— Blaine (rep) 7,437; Cleveland (dem) 5,569; Butler (green- 
back) 58 ; St. John (pro) 449. 

1888 — Harrison (rep) 7,709; Cleveland (dem) 5,939; Weaver (green- 
back) 63; Fisk (pro) 694; Streeter (labor) 36. 

1892 — Harrison (rep) 7,445; Cleveland (dem) 6,487; Weaver (green- 
back) (peo) 63; Wooley (pro) 769; Debs (soc) 95. 

1896— McKinley (rep) 9,964; Bryan (dem) 6,320; Palmer (gold dem) 
94; Lovering (pro) 307. 

1900— McKinley (rep) 9,487; Bryan (dem) 6,613; Wooley (pro) 
583; Debs (soc) 95; Barker 12; Maloney (soc lab) 15; Leonard (U C) 2; 
Ellis (U R) 11. 

390 History of McLean County 

1904— Roosevelt (rep) 8,722; Parker (dem) 4,149; Swallow (pro) 
1,114; Debs (soc) 846; Corregan (labor) 47;' Watson (peo) 24; Holcomb 
(cut) 3. 

1908— Taft (rep) 8,953; Bryan (dem) 5,982; Chafin (pro) 840; 
Debs (soc) 197; Gilhaus (soc lab) 15; Hisgen (ind) 22; Turney (U C) 4; 
Watson (peo) 10. 

1912— Taft (rep) 4,624; Wilson (dem) 5,336; Chafin (pro) 376; Debs 
(soc) 562; Reimer (soc lab) 26; Roosevelt (progressive) 4,350. 

1916— Hughes (rep) 14,988; Wilson (dem) 11,699; Hanley (pro) 
1,016; Benson (soc) 450; Reimer (soc lab) 7. 

1920— Harding (rep) 16,680; Cox (dem) 6,411; Debs (soc) 133; Wat- 
kins (pro) 396; Christensen (farmer labor) 1,904; McCauley (single tax) 
15; Cox (soc lab) 16. 

Population Statistics. — The population of McLean county when or- 
ganized was estimated at 2,000. Its area was twice its present area, 
comprising what is now part of Woodford, Tazewell and DeWitt counties. 
The first census of McLean county, in 1835, gave the population as 5,308. 
After the Black Hawk war there was a large immigration to the county 
from the south and east, Kentucky furnishing the majority of the new- 
comers. This southern inflow continued until about 1850, and it gave 
a southern tinge to the slavery sentiment, which lasted until the approach 
of the Civil war, when anti-slavery sentiment predominated. 

By 1840, the census showed population of 6,565, of whom 42 were 
colored. Part of the county had been set off to Logan, DeWitt and Piatt 
counties, and this year another part was set off to Woodford. 

In. 1845 the population was 6,904, the hard times having affected the 
growth of population, and part of the county having been cut off to Wood- 
ford since the last census. Federal census of 1850 showed 10,163. The 
census of other years showed: 

1860— Population 28,772; native 25,063; foreign 3,709; colored 192. 

1870— Population 53,980; native 46,026; foreign 7,962; colored 427. 

1880— Population 60,100; native 52,384; foreign 7,716; colored 687. 

1890— Population 63,063; native 54,479; foreign 8,557. 

1900— Population 67,843; native 60,464; foreign 7,319. 

1910— Population 68,008; native 62,371; foreign 5,637. 

1920— Population 70,107; native 64,447; foreign 4,554; colored 1,060. 

History of McLean County 391 

Following is the population of the incorporated cities, towns and 
villages in McLean county for the years 1900, 1910 and 1920, according 
to the official reports of the United States census: 

1920 1910 1900 

Arrowsmith 344 366 317 

Bloomington 28,725 25,768 23,286 

Chenoa 1,311 1,314 1,512 

Colfax 976 965 1,153 

Danvers 616 593 607 

Downs 295 

Gridley 720 750 715 

Heyworth 851 681 683 

Hudson 309 375 378 

Leroy 1,680 1,702 1,629 

Lexington 1,301 1,318 1,415 

McLean 697 707 532 

Saybrook 752 805 879 

Towanda 404 404 467 

The following is the official U. S. census report of the population of 
McLean county for the years 1910 and 1920, divided into townships : 

1920 1910 

Allin township, including Stanford village 1,115 1,197 

Anchor township 825 932 

Arrowsmith township, including Arrowsmith village 946 1,013 

Bellflower township, including Bellflower village __ 1,183 1,167 

Bloomington township 2,034 2,025 

Bloomington City township, coextensive with Bloom- 
ington city 28,725 25,768 

Blue Mound township, including Cooksville 1,053 1,176 

Cheney's Grove township, including Saybrook village 1,479 1,557 

Chenoa township, including Chenoa city 2,002 2,117 

Cropsey township 514 531 

Dale township 866 1,022 

Danvers township, including Danvers village 1,497 1,543 

Dawson township 1,109 1,235 

392 History of McLean County 

Downs township, including Downs village 

Dry Grove township 

Empire township, including Leroy city 

Funk's Grove township 

Gridley township, including Gridley village 

Hudson township, including Hudson town 

Lawndale township 

Lexington township, including Lexington city 

Martin township, including Colfax village 

Money Creek township 

Mt. Hope township, including McLean village 

Normal township, including Normal town 

Oldtown township 

Randolph township, including Heyworth 

Towanda township, including Towanda village 

West township 

White Oak township 

Yates township 

Total McLean County 1 70,107 68,008 

Interesting Facts. 

McLean County embraces 1,186 square miles with an approximate 
acreage of 760,000. 

The First Methodist church of Bloomington was organized in 1832. 
The First Baptist church was organized in 1835. The Unitarian church 
was organized in 1859. 

Ira Lackey put in the first plate glass front for a store in Bloomington. 

The First Presbyterian church was organized in 1853 by Rev. C. W. 

The first Roman Catholic church was organized in Bloomington in 
1853 by Father Bernard O'Hara. 

A. Gridley, J. Y. Scammon and J. A. Birch organized the first bank in 
McLean county. 

J. G. Miller was the first blacksmith in the city or county, having 
opened a shop in Bloomington in 1850. 





































History of McLean County 393 

A. B. Ives of Bloomington was a passenger on the first passenger train 
running south of Hudson on the Illinois Central. 

The first church bell in Bloomington was put up in the Methodist 
church. The first church organ was in the First Presbyterian. 

The first Masonic lodge was organized in 1847 and W. C. Hobbs was 
the first man raised. The first Odd Fellows lodge was formed in October, 
1851, and John M. Scott was first initiated. 

The first fire company in Bloomington was organized in 1854 and the 
first fire engine purchased in Philadelphia. George T. McElheny was the 
first fire department chief. 

The McLean County Bible society was organized in September, 1852, 
and Rev. F. N. Ewing was president ; D. Wilkins was first secretary ; John 
Magoun first treasurer. 

Robert Park was the first station agent in Bloomington for the Chi- 
cago & Alton railroad. He died in St. Louis in 1879. 

Bloomington and McLean county have the unique distinction of hav- 
ing two of their women elected to the position of President General of 
the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The 
fact is further interesting because these two women were sisters, they 
being Mrs. Letitia Green Stevenson and Mrs. Julia G. Scott. Mrs. Steven- 
son, wife of Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson, was elected the second 
president general, following the death of Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, the 
first chief executive. Mrs. Stevenson's election occurred February 22, 
1893, and she was re-elected Feb. 22, 1894. Then followed the administra- 
tion of Mrs. John W. Foster, after which Mrs. Stevenson was again elected 
to the position on Feb. 22, 1896, and her fourth term began with her 
re-election on Feb. 22, 1897. 


Biographical History 

Hon. Thomas C. Kerrick, eminent lawyer and prominent citizen of 
Illinois, is a native of Indiana. He was born in Franklin County, Ind., 
April 24, 1848, and is the son of Nimrod and Mary (Masters) Kerrick. 

Nimrod Kerrick was born in Loudon County, Va., Oct. 13, 1808, and 
died Dec. 13, 1897, in his ninetieth year. Mary (Masters) Kerrick was 
born in Lancaster County, Pa., Sept. 15, 1815, and died Jan. 8, 1908, in 
her ninety-third year. They were married in Fairfield, Franklin County, 
Ind, May 9, 1839. In 1860 they removed to Woodford County, 111., and 
to Bloomington, McLean County, in 1877. 

In his early young manhood Nimrod Kerrick taught school a num- 
ber of years, during which time he fitted himself for the ministry, and 
became one of the early self-sacrificing Circuit riders of the Methodist 
Church. After coming to Illinois he engaged in farming. Their chil- 
dren were Eleanor Josephine, deceased wife of Cyrus Mull, also de- 
ceased, Phoebe Ann, widow of William H. Bracken, residing at Brook- 
ville, Indiana, William M., who was killed in battle during the Civil War, 
Leonidas H., deceased husband of Sarah E. Funk, also deceased, and 
Thomas C, the subject of this sketch, who from the age of 12 to 21 years 
remained and worked on the farm. Prior to removing to Illinois he had 
received the benefit of good public schools, and an advanced, privately 
conducted, academy. His next school attendance was a two years elec- 
tive course in the Wesleyan University at Bloomington, which institu- 



Of rm 

History of McLean County 395 

tion, some years after he had been successfully practicing law, conferred 
upon him the degree of Master of Arts, Pro Merito. 

He was licensed to practice law Jan. 7, 1875, and at the same time 
was admitted to an equal membership in a well established law firm of 
the Bloomington Bar, with which he had read law, and had at times 
attended to some of the legal work of the firm. During the many years 
of his arduous law practice he has held the high esteem of members of 
his profession and of the courts wherever his legal activities have called 

In the sixties, particularly when the Civil War had greatly depleted 
farm help, farmer boys of 12 and upward to military age were practically 
required to do men's work. Nevertheless Mr. Kerrick acquired and re- 
tained a liking for farming, and farmer people, and the open country 
life, and devotes much of his time and thought to his farming interests. 

In politics Mr. Kerrick is a Republican, and, although preferring the 
attainment of high standing in his profession to political eminence and 
distinction, he has taken an active part in promoting the welfare of the 
party of his choice, and the success of its worthy candidates for public 

In his early practice of law he served the City of Bloomington two 
terms as its official legal adviser and attorney. In 1888, without opposi- 
tion in his own party, he was nominated for membership in the State 
Senate, and elected for the- four-year term. During this term he was 
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Penal and Reformatory 
Committee, and a member of other important committees. Of the many 
bills, resolutions, etc., referred to his Committees, not one was smothered 
or left unacted upon by the Committee. Each and every one, with amend- 
ments proposed by the Committee, if any was returned to the Senate 
for its action, with a recommendation either "that it do pass," or "that it 
do not pass." In recognition of his services in the Senate he would have 
received a second unanimous nomination had he not declined to be a 
candidate for re-election. 

Together with Ex-Governor Fifer, Mr. Kerrick was also a member 
of the recent Constitutional Convention, Ex-Governor Fifer and he being 
the two delegates elected from the Senatorial District composed of Mc- 
Lean and Ford counties. 

396 History of McLean County 

For more than 50 years Mr. Kerrick has been an active and efficient 
worker in movements to promote the general welfare of his community. 
Always a friend of education, he served many years as a member of the 
Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Wesleyan 
University, and was one of the two Generals in command of the compet- 
ing forces which in a little more than one month, in the summer of 1922, 
obtained subscriptions amounting to more than $700,000.00 for the use 
of the Wesleyan. 

He was the first president of the Bloomington Club, and served in 
that capacity a number of terms, is president of the McLean County 
Historical Society, and also for many years one of the trustees of the 
Brokaw Hospital Endowment Fund, a fund donated by Abram Brokaw, 
the income of which makes possible the permanent great usefulness of 
the Brokaw Hospital. 

Although diligent and thorough in the practice of his profession, 
his versatility includes aptitude as a toastmaster and an after dinner 
talker on festive occasions, and in public speaking in general, a liking 
for indoor and outdoor recreative sports and exercises, and socially ming- 
ling with his friends. 

In recognition of his organizing and executive ability, a mass meet- 
ing of Bloomington citizens, held while he was trying a law suit in .i 
distant part of the State, unanimously elected him to formulate and 
conduct a campaign which resulted in changing the aldermanic city 
government of Bloomington to the commission form. Upon the notable 
occasion of the visit of President Roosevelt to Bloomington, in which 
preparations upon an elaborate scale were required to be arranged for a 
full day and evening of appropriate entertainment and exercises, he acted 
as chairman of the general committee of arrangements by request of a 
preliminary meeting of prominent citizens. 

On Aug. 29, 1871, Mr. Kerrick was united in marriage with Miss 
Tollie Armstrong, an adopted daughter of David and Sarah Armstrong. 
Mrs. Kerrick's death occurred May 8, 1902. Three children were born to 
this union, the first of whom died in early infancy. Leonidas H., the 
second born, the husband of Leonia (Van Lear) Kerrick, is a farmer and 
resides on his farm adjacent to Kerrick, a station on the Illinois Central 
Railroad, which takes its name from the subject of this sketch, as is 
also the case with the Kerrick Grain Company, operating at this station. 

History of McLean County 397 

The daughter, Alice Kerrick Dunn, the wife of Warren C. Dunn, re- 
sides in Columbus, Ohio. There are four grandchildren, Elizabeth, Jose- 
phine, and Thomas VanLear Kerrick, and Alice Leonoir Dunn. 

On June 20, 1907, Mr. Kerrick was married to Miss Alice Harpole, 
daughter of Peter and Laura Harpole, natives of Ohio, resident in Bloom- 
ington, 111., at the time of their decease. There were no children of this 
marriage. Mrs. Kerrick departed this life Aug. 17, 1918. 

Mr Kerrick has many friends throughout the State of Illinois, and 
is among its most honored and respected citizens. Although now in his 
seventy-sixth year, judged by his physical and mental vigor and alert- 
ness, it would be a grossly absurd misnomer to characterize his seventy- 
sixth as a "declining year." 

Dr. Ralph D. Fox, a successful physician and surgeon of Blooming- 
ton, whose practice is limited to eye, ear, nose and throat diseases, to 
which he has devoted special study and attention, is a native of Michi- 
gan. He was born at Cedar Springs, Mich., Sept. 14, 1877, and is a son 
of Dr. Asa L. Fox, one of the oldest physicians now engaged in the prac- 
tice in Bloomington, and a sketch of whom appears in this volume. 

Dr. Ralph D. Fox was reared at Cedar Springs, Mich., Three Rivers, 
Mich., Heppner, Ore., and Bloomington, 111., where his father was 
engaged in the practice of his profession. He received his preliminary 
education in the public schools and the Illinois Wesleyan University at 
Bloomington, graduating in the class of 1899 with the degree of A. B. 
He then entered the department of medicine and surgery at the Univer- 
sity of Michigan, where he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of 
Medicine in 1903. He then located in Bloomington with Dr. A. L. Fox 
for eight years, then attended the University of Vienna. He has taken 
Post Graduate work at Harvard, Massachusetts, Eye and Ear Infirmary 
and the University of Vienna. 

On Nov. 25, 1913, Dr. Fox was married at Bloomington to Miss Adella 
F. Mcintosh, a native of Bloomington, and a resident of this city. She is 
a daughter of George and Helen (McGregor) Mcintosh, the former a 
native of Scotland and the latter of Canada. George Mcintosh died in 
1917 and his wife departed this life in 1907. To Dr. Ralph D. and Mrs. 

398 History of McLean County 

Fox have been born two children, Ralph M. and Walter S., both attending 
school in Bloomington. 

Dr. Fox is a Republican and a member of the M. E. Church, and Mrs. 
Fox is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He is a 32nd degree Mason, 
being a member of the Bloomington Consistory. Dr. Fox is a capable 
physician and surgeon and recognized as one of the leaders of his pro- 

Dr. Asa L. Fox, one of the well known physicians and surgeons of 
Bloomington, who has been successfully engaged in the practice of his 
profession for many years, is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born 
two miles east of Danville, Pa., Jan. 23, 1846, and is a son of Daniel M. 
and Eliza (Lichtenmalner) Fox, both natives of Pennsylvania, the former 
of Bucks County and the latter of Northampton County. The father was 
a school teacher in early life and during the latter part of his active 
career he was engaged in farming. 

Dr. Fox was one of six children born to his parents, the others 
being as follows: Mrs. Marietta Goodrich; Elizabeth Fox; Mrs. Eliza M. 
Kidney, and John P. Fox, all of whom are deceased, and Daniel Fox, who 
resides at Battle Creek, Mich. 

When Dr. Fox was a child his parents removed to Calhoun County, 
Mich., where he was reared and attended the country schools. He later 
attended Olivet College and the University of Michigan, where he was 
graduated from the pharmacy department in 1869 and from the medical 
department in 1870. Immediately after receiving his degree from the 
medical college he engaged in the practice of his profession in Michigan, 
where he remained for 15 years. He then went to Oregon and for eight 
years was engaged in the practice in that state. Thirty years ago he 
came to Bloomington and since that time has been actively engaged in 
the practice here. It will thus be seen that he has the unusual record to 
his credit of having been continuously engaged in the practice of medicine 
and surgery for 53 years. 

On July 18, 1876, Dr. Asa L. Fox was married at Lewistown, 111., to 
Miss Cornelia V. Deems, of Lewistown, where she was born April' 5, 1850, 
a daughter of John and Phoebe (Brown) Deems, natives of Ohio and 

History of McLean County 399 

early settlers in Illinois. John Deems was born in 1809 and died in 1898, 
and his wife was born in 1809 and died in 1886. To Dr. and Mrs. Fox was 
born one son, Dr. Ralph Deems Fox, a well known physician and surgeon 
of Bloomington, a sketch of whom appears in this volume. 

Dr. Fox is a Republican and he and Mrs. Fox are members of the 
Methodist Church. As a physician and surgeon and a citizen, Dr. Fox 
ranks high in the community. 

Dr. John L. Yolton has been a successful and well known physician 
of Bloomington for many years. He was born in Avena Township, Fay- 
ette County, 111., Aug. 10, 1858, and is the son of William and Belinda 
(McGeehon) Yolton. 

William Yolton was a native of Pennsylvania, as also was his wife. 
They were early settlers of Fayette County, 111., where Mr. Yolton en- 
gaged in farming in Avena Township. Mr. and Mrs. Yolton, now de- 
ceased, were the parents of two children: Dr. John L., the subject of this 
sketch, and Geneva, born in 1862, now living in North Dakota, is the wife 
of John Arnold. 

Dr. Yolton was reared on his father's farm in Fayette County and 
received his education in the district schools, and taught school for a 
time. In 1887 he was graduated from Woman's Medical College at Chi- 
cago and served one year as interne in Woman's Hospital, Chicago. From 
1889 to 1892 Dr. Yolton was physician at Croy Agency, Mont., in the 
settlement of the Crow Indians. Since that time he has been located in 
Bloomington. Dr. Yolton now lives retired at 208 E. Jefferson St., 

Dr. Yolton was married the first time in 1886 to Miss Ella B. Smith, 
a native of St. Elmo, 111., who died in 1889. To this union two children 
were born: Blanche Hossack, born in 1887, lives in Syracuse, N. Y., and 
Wyman B., born in 1889, died in 1919. On Oct. 22, 1896, Dr. Yolton was 
married to Dr. Rhoda Galloway, a native of Iowa, born in 1862, and a 
daughter of John and Elizabeth (Hall) Galloway, natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. Mr. Galloway died in 1862, and his wife died in 1919. To Dr. 
John L. and Rhoda (Galloway) Yolton one child was born, Leroy W., 

400 History of McLean County 

born in 1900. He now teaches school in Carleton College, Northfield, 

Dr. Yolton is a Republican, a member of the Presbyterian Church, 
and belongs to the Masonic lodge and the Knights of Pythias. 

Dr. Yolton was among the first to tender his services at the outbreak 
of the World war and he was assigned to the Student Army Training 
Corps of Illinois Wesleyan University. It was his lot to take care of the 
boys of the educational institution who were anxious to participate and 
who occupied the barracks erected for their accommodation north of the 
west end of the university buildings. Dr. Yolton served faithfully and 
efficiently during the period of the war and the excellent health of the 
students during this period was largely due to the careful attention 
given them by Dr. Yolton and his associates. 

Judge Thomas Kennedy, a prominent attorney of Bloomington, is a 
member of one of Illinois' oldest and most prominent pioneer families. 
He was born on a farm in Minonk Township, Woodford County, 111., and 
is a son of Thomas and Catherine Kennedy. 

Mr. Kennedy received his education at the winter terms of the dis- 
trict schools in the neighborhood and in the city schools of Minonk. His 
mother died when he was a small child and his father died when he was 
19 years of age. He worked on a farm first for his father and after- 
ward as a farm hand for neighboring farmers. While working on the 
farm Mr. Kennedy prepared himself for teaching, received a certificate 
and taught school for about four years, the last year of which was spent 
in the city schools of Minonk. While teaching his last year he entered 
the law office of Martin L. Newell, a well known lawyer and author of 
law books, at Minonk, 111. Here he studied for two years and passed 
the examination, being admitted to the bar in 1886. He served as city 
attorney of Minonk, was appointed Master in Chancery of Woodford 
County in 1887, and moved to Metamora, where he opened a law office, 
near the old court house, now a Lincoln Memorial building owned and 
cared for by the state of Illinois. 

In 1888, Mr. Kennedy was elected State's Attorney of Woodford 
County, and the following year entered into a partnership with his for- 


of ms 

History of McLean County 401 

mer preceptor, Martin L. Newell and returned to Minonk. Mr. Newell 
was state senator and was engaged in writing law books and much of 
the law business of the firm was handled by the junior member. This 
partnership continued until 1893 when Mr. Newell, having been ap- 
pointed assistant attorney general of the state of Illinois and reporter 
of the appellate courts, moved to Springfield. Mr. Kennedy filled the 
office of state's attorney for eight years, retiring in 1896. He after- 
wards held the same office for a term of four years, 1912 to 1916, making 
12 years in all as a public prosecutor. During that time and since his 
retirement from that position he has taken part in the prosecution of 
many of the most important criminal cases tried in central Illinois. In a 
case recently tried in one of the counties of central Illinois, where he was 
seated with the state's attorney, the defense moved the court to order 
his withdrawal from the case, his experience being one of the grounds 
urged in support of the motion. The judge, however, refused to take 
such a radical step. 

In 1898 Mr. Kennedy was elected county judge of Woodford County 
and held that position for two terms, eight years. During that time, 
in addition to discharging the duties of a judge, in Woodford County, he 
held exchange terms in many of the surrounding counties. He had a 
very extensive law practice and was well known in the courts of Pontiac, 
Ottawa, Lacon, Peoria, Pekin and Bloomington, as well as in his own 
county. In 1918, he moved to Bloomington and opened a law office in 
the Griesheim building, across from the northeast corner of the court 
house square. In November, 1920, he formed a law partnership with 
his son, Kaywin Kennedy, and they are now in active practice under the 
firm name of Kennedy & Kennedy. They have an extensive practice 
here and still retain a large practice in the surrounding counties. 

Judge Kennedy married Miss Clara Hart, a daughter of Allen Hart, 
one of the pioneers of Woodford County. Her mother, Mrs. Martha A. 
Hart, is now living in Bloomington. There are two sons in the Kennedy 
family, Kaywin and Thomas Hart Kennedy. Kaywin Kennedy is a grad- 
uate of the University of Illinois and of the Northwestern Law School 
of Chicago. Thomas Hart Kennedy is a graduate of Culver Military 
Academy and has taken courses in economics and transportation at Le- 
land Stanford and Columbia universities and has written many articles, 
and a book on aviation, transportation and kindred subjects. Both of 

402 History of McLean County 

them served their country in the World War and came out of the army 
as commissioned officers, and one of them, Kay win, saw service over- 

Judge and Mrs. Kennedy live in a beautiful home on Broadway, in 
Normal, adjacent to Bloomington, and take an active part in the educa- 
tional and social affairs of the community. 

Wolf Griesheim. — Fifty-nine years have passed since Wolf Griesheim 
left his kindred in the fatherland to make his way in the land of his adop- 
tion. He has never had reason to regret his step. His fellow citizens 
have never had reason to regret his coming. For it was men of his type 
that built up the business field of the Evergreen City until it ranked with 
the soundest and most successful of the inland cities of the great west. 
They built upon foundations of integrity and honor. They won the confi- 
dence of the community. They earned the respect and esteem of unnum- 
bered friends. Now at the sunset, it will be timely to recall something of 
their early days and their experiences, the vicissitudes of the pioneer com- 
mercial activities, as they blazed the way for those who were to follow 
and later relieve them of the burdens and responsibilities that they had 
so long and so ably carried. 

Mr. Griesheim was 19 years of age when he arrived in Bloomington. 
It was on a Christmas morning. He had $5.00 in his purse, his sole pos- 
sessions outside of a purposeful ambition and industry. He made the 
journey from New York on an emigrant train, due to the lower price of 
fare. He was eight days in covering the journey of 1,000 miles, which 
now takes less than two. With a small bundle, which carried his spare 
clothing, he started to walk up West Chestnut Street to the city, the Chi- 
cago & Alton depot being located in the freight yards in those early days. 

Unable to speak the English language, Mr. Griesheim found some dif- 
ficulty in securing information, but finally met Tol Lawrence, later of 
Denver, who was able to understand the name of Resiel Livingston, whom 
Mr. Griesheim knew in Germany. Lawrence guided the newcomer to the 
Livingston store, then known as the S. & A. Livingston, located at the 
northwest corner of Center and Washington streets. He was given a cor- 
dial welcome and ate breakfast at the home of Sam Livingston. Mr. 

History of McLean County 403 

Griesheim was then taken to the store of Abe Berman, now the site of the 
Livingston building, where he went to work at once as a clerk. It was 
the original plan of Mr. Griesheim to start out as a peddler and sell goods 
in the rural districts, but Berman argued against this and advised the 
youth to learn the business and then embark upon his own hook. He 
started his new clerk at the munificent salary of $100 per annum, which 
included board, lodging and washing. The new clerk startled the natives 
with his energy. He found the store dirty and unkempt and the stock 
neglected, poorly arranged, and carelessly displayed. In a few days he 
affected a transformation. He washed the windows, scrubbed the floors 
at night on his hands and knees, rearranged the stock, put on attractive 
displays, etc. In those days the merchants had wide wooden awnings 
and a large proportion of the stock was displayed on the sidewalk during 
the day. So faithful was the new clerk and so valuable did he become 
that Berman raised his pay three times, until he was finally drawing the 
princely wage of $35 per month and board. Then came a calamity. Ber- 
man died. A. Livingston took possession of the store while Mr. Gries- 
heim went to the S. & A. Livingston store at the northwest corner of 
Center and Washington Streets, known as the headquarters. Maik Liv- 
ingston and Mr. Griesheim were given an eighth interest in the business 
in 1868 when a new building was erected, but the two boys were dissatis- 
fied and the firm then sold out to the pair and they formed a partnership, 
known as Livingston & Griesheim, which continued until 1886, when the 
partnership was dissolved, Mr. Griesheim opening a store alone three 
doors to the north. Of that little group of German born business men 
who came to Bloomington in the sixties and who became such an impor- 
tant part in the mercantile field, Mr. Griesheim is the last surviving. 

The new store was known as the U. S. and the name was selected 
by William McCambridge, then a well-known member of the Pantagraph 
editorial staff. While Mr. Griesheim was in New York, McCambridge 
looked after the advertising. He kept the cabalistic letters "U. S." before 
the public and had everybody in central Illinois guessing as to the mean- 
ing. The day of the opening a page "ad" in the Pantagraph explained the 
secret and the inaugural was a great success. 

Finding it necessary to expand and being unable to purchase either 
of the adjacent buildings, Mr. Griesheim in 1890 purchased the site of the 
present Griesheim building, paying more for the lots than ever previously 

404 History op McLean County 

recorded for business realty, and erecting Bloomington's first sky-scraper 
in 1896. This structure was destroyed by fire in the great fire of 1900, 
but Mr. Griesheim with his usual energy was open for business four days 
later, securing a building on Front Street, which he occupied until the 
present fine structure was erected the following winter, moving in on 
Dec. 1st. Mr. Griesheim sold out in 1915 to his two sons, and has since 
taken life easy, enjoying to the fullest the fruits of his labors as a busi- 
ness man of Bloomington, his sons successfully carrying on the enterprise 
that he had launched and so ably conducted. 

Mr. Griesheim gives much of his credit for success to the warm 
friends whom he met after arriving in Bloomington. Among the first was 
W. 0. Davis, who came to Bloomington in 1865. Others included Col. D. 
C. Smith, Charles Gehmlin, Squire Vanordstrand of Hey worth; Chris 
Naffziger, of Danvers; J. E. McCormick; Wesleyan Crain, of McLean; 
Jacob Gingerich, of Dry Grove, who was his first customer; Sam A. Deal, 
of Dry Grove; Julius Reichel, Peter Whitmer, Joseph Pitts, William 
Muhl, and Warren C. Watkins. The latter saved him from serious finan- 
cial loss. His money, in the early seventies, was deposited in the old 
Home Bank. Watkins learned that the bank was insolvent and warned 
him to withdraw his funds. He did so just in time. Otherwise he might 
have been ruined. In the reconstruction days that followed the Civil 
War and the panicky era of the early seventies, many retail and whole- 
sale firms went under, and it required careful pilotage to steer clear of 
the shoals that perilled the mercantile craft. 

Twenty years' service on the board of supervisors enabled Mr. Gries- 
heim to do much for the city and county, and he proved a valuable mem- 
ber. It was the fashion in those days to ignore the claims of justices 
of the peace and constables for services rendered. Mr. Griesheim inves- 
tigated such accounts and when he found that they were legitimate and 
had been well earned, he made an effective plea that the bills be allowed, 
and the committee, thanks to his efforts, did so, thus earning for him the 
gratitude of the men who had previously experienced great difficulty in 
securing satisfaction. 

Mr. Griesheim was always a great admirer of Gov. J. W. Fifer, and, 
when the latter made his race for governor, Mr. Griesheim sent to Dan- 
vers and with the aid of Pete Elkins secured a wagon load of brick that 
Fifer and Elkins had made when they were boys together on the Danvers 

History of McLean County 405 

farm. The brick were placed in the Griesheim window and proved an 
effective advertisement for the governor. The display was written up 
in the Chicago and down state papers and proved a great hit. 

Many changes have been noted by Mr. Greisheim in merchandising 
methods. Forty to 50 years ago traveling clothing salesmen brought the 
whole garment along instead of the picture style books with samples 
of clothes that thus reduce traveling expenses. Sometimes the salesmen 
would carry as many as 30 trunks filled with suits of various kinds. To- 
day the average salesman of clothing carries usually a single suit case. 
The styles have changed also. No one would wear the bell bottom trou- 
sers today of two generations ago; the plug hats, the tape edged cut- 
aways, the Windsor flowing ties, and other evidences of elegance and 
smartness displayed by the Beau Brummels of long ago have gone, per- 
haps never to return except possibly in the movies. 

In the early days no one thought of keeping tailors in the stores to 
remodel suits. If the trousers or vests were too loose, they were tight- 
ened by the buckle. Alterations had to be performed by the patron, if 
they were made. This change in conditions as well as many others that 
might be recalled came by degrees, but so gradually that the public paid 
little attention to them. The great palaces of trade now bear little resem- 
blance to the insignificance of stores of the sixties with their small stocks 
and primitive methods. Only those who have been privileged to witness 
the transformation can fully realize the contrast. 

As a leading member of the Bloomington Benevolent Society for 
many years, Mr. Griesheim took an active part in looking after the needy 
and dependent, and hundreds have had reason to bless his generosity and 
consideration for those afflicted or in distress. 

Now, in retrospection, as he gazes back over the years he has no 
regrets and finds satisfaction in completed service, well performed. 
Through unfaltering courage, a character stainless, a name that is hon- 
ored, he achieved unusual success, a goal that many seek in vain. 

Wolf Grieshem was married in the old Sherman House in Chicago, 
Oct. 12, 1870. Mrs. Griesheim was born in Albany, N. Y., June 14, 1846, 
a daughter of Samuel and Henrietta Friend. 

Mr. Griesheim practically retired from the mercantile business about 
ten years ago, and his sons, Myron H. Griesheim and Julius Griesheim, 
continued the active management of the Griesheim clothing business, 

406 History of McLean County 

which is located in the Griesheim building on the northeast corner of 
the public square. 

In 1923 Myron H. Griesheim died and the business is now under the 
management of the other brother, Julius. 

Myron H. Griesheim, deceased, was born in Bloomington, Oct. 10, 
1879. He was educated in the Jefferson schools and the State Normal 
University, and Wesleyan University. At the age of 18 years he entered 
the store of his father and when he was 21 years old he was taken into 
the firm, then composed of his father, Wolf Griesheim, and his brother, 
Julius, who continues the active management of the business. 

Besides the two sons, Myron H. and Julius, Mr. and Mrs. Wolf Gries- 
heim have had had two daughters, Florence, now Mrs. Milton Livingston, 
and Cora, married E. B. Heller, and died April 1, 1912, in St. Louis, Mo. A 
son, Edward Griesheim, died in October, 1893, at about the age of 21 

Lawrence Edgar Farlow, secretary of the Farmers Grain Dealers 
Association of Illinois, is among the substantial business men of Bloom- 
ington. He was born in Jefferson County, 111., Jan. 2, 1889, and is the 
son of Samuel Marion and Nancy M. (Redmond) Farlow. 

Samuel Marion Farlow, a native of Jefferson County, III, attended 
Ewing College and taught school for a number of years. He was a suc- 
cessful farmer and now lives retired. His wife died in October, 1897, and 
is buried in the Hams Grove Cemetery, near Mt. Vernon, 111. Mr. and 
Mrs. Farlow were the parents of four sons and seven daughters. 

Lawrence Edgar Farlow grew up on his father's farm near Mt. 
Vernon and attended the public schools and Ewing College at Ewing, 
111. After teaching school five years Mr. Farlow was made manager of 
the Fisher Farmers' Grain & Coal Co., at Fisher, 111., in 1912. He con- 
tinued in that work until 1919 when he was appointed state secretary of 
the Farmers Grain Dealers Association of Illinois. 

On Feb. 26, 1910, Mr. Farlow was married at Farmington, Mo., to 
Miss Bertie A. Bumpus ,a native of Jefferson County, 111., and the daugh- 
ter of Rev. Samuel and Effie (Riggs) Bumpus, natives of Illinois, who 
live at Green Valley, III, where Reverend Bumpus has charge of a Metho- 

History of McLean County 407 

dist Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Farlow two children have been born: 
Coenia Blanche, born Feb. 3, 1911, and Edwin Marion, born June 22, 1914. 
Mr. Farlow is a Democrat, a member of the First Methodist Episco- 
pal Church and belongs to the Masonic lodge and Bloomington Consistory. 
He is a reliable citizen and merits the esteem in which he is held in the 

George Agle, retired, has been a prominent citizen and successful 
business man of Bloomington for many years. He was born in Erie 
County, N. Y., in 1843, and is the son of Frederick and Laney (Henry) 
Agle, both natives of Germany. 

Frederick Agle came to America with his parents when a boy of 11 
years and settled in Erie County, N. Y. His father, George Agle, was 
a soldier under Napoleon for llV-> years, during which time he was at 
the memorable siege and burning of Moscow, Russia. He lived to be 
80 years of age, and a unique incident of his life was the fact that he 
had never ridden horseback or in a wagon. Frederick Agle followed agri- 
culture pursuits in Erie County, N. Y., until 1880 when he removed to 
Bloomington. There were eight children in the Agle family, of whom 
George, the subject of this sketch, was the third in order of birth. 

George Agle lived on a farm until he was 16 years old and received 
his education in the district school. He then went to Hamburg, Erie 
County, N. Y., and engaged in the tanning and currier trade, at which he 
served three years. He then removed to Illinois, locating at Bloomington, 
where he became a dealer in hides, wool, feed and leathers. Mr. Agle now 
lives retired and the business is carried on by his sons, George F., William 
F., and Charles F. J. Agle. 

Mr. Agle was married in 1869 to Miss Caroline W. Eckhardt, who was 
born in Erie County, N. Y., the daughter of George and Margaret (Bley) 
Eckhardt. Mr. and Mrs. Agle have three sons, mention of whom is 
made above. 

George Agle is a Republican and a member of the German Lutheran 
Church. He is a substantial citizen and his family has always stood high 
in Bloomington. His wife died May 20, 1918. She was a member of the 
German Lutheran Church. 

408 History of McLean County 

Dr. Cyrenius Wakefield, of old English stock, was born in Water- 
town, N. Y., July 12, 1815, and was the fifth in a family of six. When a 
youth he worked his father's farm in summer and taught school in win- 
ter. In 1837 he came to Bloomington, on the lakes to Chicago, from there 
by stage to LaSalle, on the river to Pekin, where putting his luggage 
on a wagon loaded with merchandise coming this way he set out on foot, 
reaching the town of Bloomington in two days. For a time he taught 
school south of here but lived west of Farmer City, where later he also 
taught school. In four years he owned a farm and comfortable home. 
He was now ready for marriage and his heart went back to a beloved 
schoolmate in the home of his youth. On Aug. 17, 1843, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Harriet Richardson, a, relation of General Grant. To Dr. 
and Mrs. Wakefield four children were born as follows: Emma, Oscar, 
Harriet and Homer. Emma, deceased, was the wife of A. S. Eddy, also 
deceased. To this union five children were bora as follows : Emma Agus- 
ta, wife of H. N. Woods, Bloomington; Florence Josephine, deceased, was 
wife of H. 0. Davis, Bloomington ; Adelbert Cyrenius, Los Angeles, Calif. ; 
Louis 0., manager of C. Wakefield & Company factory, Bloomington; and 
Maxwell, residing in Chicago, 111. Oscar, deceased, early lost his two 
sons, Herbert and Bruce. Harriet now resides in Bloomington. Homer, 
a physician, lives in New York City. He is the father of three children, 
Sherman, Elizabeth and Harriet, all of whom reside in New York and 

Harriet (youngest daughter of Dr. Cyrenius Wakefield) was edu- 
cated in the public schools of Bloomington, later attending Miss Grant's 
Seminary in Chicago, followed by an extended trip abroad. On May 11, 
1886, she was married to Albert B. Brady, a native of Iowa, born Sept. 
19, 1862. Mr. Brady was a direct descendant of General Warrington of 
Revolutionary fame. On graduating from Knox College he was engaged 
in newspaper work, which he soon gave up in order to assist his dear 
friend, S. S. McClure, to found McClure's Magazine. Mr. Brady occupied 
the position of secretary and advertising manager of the McClure Pub- 
lishing Company until his death, Dec. 25, 1900, in Rome, Italy. To Albert 
B. and Harriet (Wakefield) Brady two children were born: Florence, now 
residing with her mother in Bloomington; and Albert B., who lives in 
Los Angeles, Calif., where he is engaged in business. 


s&sny of wjw*? 

History of McLean County 409 

Dr. Cyrenius Wakefield's brother Zera was a fine physician and had 
much experience in the South before coming to Illinois in 1843. The two 
brothers opened a store at Point Isabelle, Dewitt County, 111. Such a de- 
mand was made for Zera's medicines that preparations were made to 
manufacture them. Dr. Zera Wakefield died in 1848, leaving his brother 
sole owner of the business and formulas. 

Dr. Cyrenius Wakefield became very skillful in his work. Early in 
1850 he built a two story frame house in Bloomington, where the large 
store of A. Livingston & Sons stands today. Passing into the front door 
from the hall you could enter the living room to your left, or the drug 
store to your right. The stairway led to sleeping rooms. In 1851 Dr. 
Wakefield erected a three story brick building on a lot lying to the west, 
which was devoted to the manufacture of his medicines — by this time 
well established. In 1852 he purchased an additional building and placed 
it on the west of the large brick building. In the third story he pub- 
lished a paper known as the "Illinois State Bulletin." His brother-in-law, 
Robert Thompson, was a partner in this business. When the firm was 
burned out Dr. Wakefield erected a building four stories high. The signs 
read "Drugs and Medicines, Wholesale and Retail", and the building, 
springing as it did from the ashes, came to be known as old Liberty Hall, 
later Phoenix Hall. It was in one story of this that many public meetings 
were held, including the speeches of Lincoln. In 1856 Dr. Wakefield re- 
tired from the general drug business and gave his entire attention to 
his own medicines. 

Dr. Cyrenius Wakefield was for years a prominent member of the 
Bloomington Benevolent Society to which cause he contributed liberally 
in strength as well as finances. He was a member of the school board 
and took much interest in educational affairs. He had many fire losses and 
losses from going security for others, and yet he prospered financially — 
building a handsome stone residence where the high school building now 
stands. He traveled extensively both in America and Europe. Dr. Wake- 
field helped to form the Republican party in Bloomington, Sept. 9, 1854. 
Abraham Lincoln was often a friendly guest in his home and they were 
greatly attached to each other. Dr. Wakefield contracted pneumonia 
while personally relieving cases of destitution, and died Feb. 20, 1885. 

Following the death of her husband (Albert B. Brady) Dr. Wake- 
field's daughter Harriet gave up her home in New York and returned to 

410 History of McLean County 

Bloomington, where she is well known and highly esteemed. She is a 
member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and active in the 
work of this and other social and patriotic organizations. On Lincoln's 
Birthday, Feb. 12, 1924, fitting unveiling services were held on the oc- 
casion of Mrs. Brady's presentation of a bronze tablet at the entrance of 
A. Livingston & Sons store — where Lincoln had previously ascended the 
stairs to speak at Phoenix Hall. The inscription on this memorial tablet 
is as follows: 

"This Tablet 

Marks the site of 






Made a Number of Speeches 

Placed 1924 by 

Harriet Wakefield Brady 

A Member of 

Letitia Green Stevenson Chapter 

Daughters of the American Revolution 

In memor}^ of her father 


A Friend of Abraham Lincoln 

And Owner of Phoenix Hall 

Dr. Franklin Cady Vandervort, a successful physician and surgeon 
of Bloomington, is a native of Illinois. He was born at Cedar Point, 
LaSalle County, 111., Aug. 5, 1858, and is the son of Dr. I. A. and Isabel 
(Noble) Vandervort. 

Dr. I. A. Vandervort was a native of Clinton County, Ohio, as also 
was his wife. He was educated at the Medical Institute in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and was a commanding figure in his community, where he prac- 
ticed medicine for 30 years. This was in LaSalle County, 111. Dr. Van- 
dervort was also interested in the breeding of good road horses and was 

History of McLean County 411 

successful in breeding Shorthorn cattle. He died in Bloomington, Oct. 
30, 1901, and his wife died Jan. 31, 1892. They were the parents of the 
following children: Charles R., died in 1911 while principal of Greeley 
School in Peoria, 111. ; Janie, who is a graduate in music ; Mina, married 
Rev. George A. Miller. She died in Washington, D. C, in 1910; Dr. F. C, 
the subject of this sketch, and two sons who died in infancy at Cedar 
Point, 111. 

Dr. Franklin Cady Vandervort grew up in LaSalle County, 111., and 
after finishing high school at Tonica, 111., he entered Butler University, 
Indianapolis, Ind., and was graduated from Rush Medical College on 
Feb. 22, 1881. Dr. Vandervort then returned to the town of his boy- 
hood, Tonica, where he began the practice of his profession. In 1888 he 
came to Bloomington to carry on the practice of Dr. William E. Guthrie, 
who was taking post graduate work in Germany at the time. In the 
year 1906 Dr. Vandervort took 3 months Post Graduate work in Lon- 
don, Eng. Dr. Vandervort was surgeon for the Chicago & Alton Railroad 
for seven years, and in 1893 was appointed district surgeon of the Illinois 
Central Railroad, in which capacity he still serves. 

On Sept. 3, 1884, Dr. Vandervort was united in marriage with Miss 
Hattie Morehouse, a native of Bloomington, Principal of 3rd Ward School. 
She died April 10, 1899, leaving three children, as follows: Isabel More- 
house, a graduate of the University of Illinois, now teaching in the high 
school at Kenosha, Wis. ; Marion Louise, married Harry L. Stubblefield, 
lives at 516 E. Locust St., Bloomington, and Franklin Cady, Jr., a mechan- 
ical engineer associated with the Johns-Manville Company in Chicago. Mrs. 
Vandervort was the daughter of John and Jane (Parmelee) Morehouse, 
natives of New York. Mr. Morehouse died in 1898 and his wife died in 
1908. On June 25, 1902, Dr. Vandervort was married to Miss Olive 
Harrison, a daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Harrison of Granville, 
111., both of whom are deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Vandervort were married 
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the home of Dr. and Mrs. J. M. Restine. 

Dr. Vandervort is a Republican and a member of the Second Pres- 
byterian Church. He has served as health officer of Bloomington, county 
physician and president of the city school board for two years. He 
belongs to the Masonic Lodge and the Knights of Pythias. Dr. Vander- 
vort was appointed a member of Southern Illinois Normal School Trustees 
by Governor Tanner in 1899, and served 11 years, the last three as presi- 

412 History of McLean County 

dent of the board. He has served as president of the McLean County 
Medical Society for three years, and as president of North Central Illinois 
Medical Society for one year. He also belongs to the Illinois State Society, 
the American Medical Association, and the American Association of 
Railway Surgeons. During the World War he was appointed a 
surgeon with rank of Lieutenant at Student Army Training Camp of 
the Illinois Wesleyan University. He is a trustee of the public library 
of Bloomington appointed by Mayor Jones. Dr. Vandervort is a sub- 
stantial citizen of McLean County and a progressive man in his profession. 

Dr. Thomas D. Cantrell, who ranks among the leading physicians 
and surgeons of Bloomington, is a veteran of the World War. He was 
born on a farm near Waynesville, 111., in Dewitt County, Feb. 3, 1864, and 
is the son of Zebulon D. and Susan (Foreman) Cantrell. 

Zebulon D. Cantrell was a native of Springfield, 111., and when he 
was six months old his parents moved to Waynesville, where he was 
reared. He followed general farming during his entire life and met 
with success. In 1854 Zebulon D. Cantrell and his father rode on horse- 
back over the prairie land between Waynesville and Clinton and returned 
home satisfied that there was nothing worth entering at $1.25 per acre 
and that people could only live in the timber and along the edge; he 
afterward paid the Illinois Central Railroad Company $17.00 per acre 
for his first 80 acres. 

Mr. Cantrell died May 16, 1897, and his wife, who was a native of 
Union County, Ohio, died March 14, 1915. They were the parents of 
five children, as follows: Carmi G., lives at Topeka, Kan.; Joanna J., 
deceased; Elmer E., lives at Des Moines, la.; Martha Angeline Lichten- 
berger, lives at Philadelphia, Pa., and Dr. Thomas D., the subject of 
this sketch. 

Dr. Cantrell spent his boyhood on his father's farm near Waynes- 
ville and attended the district schools. He attended one year at Illinois 
Wesleyan University and graduated at Rush Medical College in Chicago 
in 1888. Dr. Cantrell practiced his profession as a general practitioner 
until 1917, when he was commissioned and served 18 months during the 
World war, nine months of which were spent in France, in command of 

History of McLean County 413 

the X-Ray Laboratory of Base Hospital No. 11. Since the close of the 
war, Dr. Cantrell has specialized in X-ray and radium, his laboratory 
being located at 303 N. East Street, Bloomington. He has an excellent 
practice and is known as a thoroughly capable man in his profession. 

On Aug. 31, 1887, Dr. Cantrell was united in marriage with Miss 
Marietta Arnett, a native of Arrowsmith, 111., and the daughter of John 
D. and Mary Margaret (Hatch) Arnett, natives of Ohio. Mr. Arnett 
died March 3, 1920, and his wife lives at Saybrook, 111. To Dr. and Mrs. 
Cantrell two children were born: Leta Fenn Briggs, lives at Minier, 111.; 
and Leona Fae, born Nov. 6, 1890, and died Dec. 4, 1890. 

During the Spanish American War Dr. Cantrell received a commis- 
sion but was not called into active service. He is at present captain of 
the Medical Reserve Corps. He is a Republican, a member of the Chris- 
tian Church, and a 32nd degree Mason. Dr. Cantrell and his wife are 
well known in Bloomington and have many friends. 

George H. Miller, a well known architect of Bloomington, has been 
engaged in his professional work for 52 years. He was born in Bloom- 
ington, May 7, 1856, the son of John George and Louisa (Scherer) Miller. 
They were natives of Wurtemburg, Germany, and came to this country 
in 1854 and settled on a farm in McLean County. They were the parents 
of eight children, six sons and two daughters. Four members of the 
family are now living, as follows: George H., the subject of this sketch; 
William B., who is engaged in the grocery business in Bloomington; 
Charles L., a jeweler in Bloomington, and Ida, a professional nurse. John 
M. Miller, one of the brothers who is now deceased, was engaged in the 
drug business in Bloomington for a number of years. 

George H. Miller was reared on a farm to the age of 11 years and 
received his education in the public schools. When he was 15 years old 
he entered the office of Richter & Bunting, who at that time were the 
only architects at Bloomington. Later, Mr. Richter went to Indianapolis, 
Ind., where he achieved fame as an architect, and Mr. Bunting went to 
Springfield, 111., and became state architect. In 1874 Mr. Harris went to 
Columbus, Ohio, and Mr. Miller went with him. One year later Mr. 
Miller returned to Bloomington and joined Henry A. Miner, a mill con- 

414 History of McLean County 

tractor, and remained with him for 10 years. In 1885 Mr. Miller en- 
gaged in business for himself. He has had an active and successful busi- 
ness career and has been identified with the construction of many of the 
important buildings of Bloomington and other towns and cities in Illi- 
nois. He was the architect of the Oberkoetter building, which was built 
in 1875 when he was 19 years old. He was also architect of the county 
jail and built the Corn Belt Bank building, the Durley building, and the 
Livingston building, and superintended the construction of a number of 
other buildings in Bloomington as well as buildings in Peoria, Decatur, 
East St. Louis, Ottawa, and a number of other places. He was the first 
to introduce the modern system of side lighting in school buildings. This 
was at the Normal Training School building, and since that time this 
system has become in general use over the country. 

In 1887 George H. Miller was married to Miss Rose Stautz, a daughter 
of Jacob and Bibiana Stautz, early pioneer settlers of McLean County, 
who came here from Germany in 1853. To Mr. and Mrs. Miller have 
been born three children, as follows: Kenneth A., an architect of Chi- 
cago; Raymond Porter, who is employed in the Federal Reserve Bank at 
Chicago, and Sallie, who resides in Bloomington with her parents. 

The Miller family are members of the Unitarian Church. Mr. Miller 
is a member of the Knights of Pythias and is past chancellor of his lodge. 
He has served as alderman and is one of the substantial and highly 
respected citizens of Bloomington and McLean County. 

D. W. Snyder, Jr., general manager of the Bloomington & Normal 
Division of the Illinois Power & Light Corporation, is a leading citizen 
of Bloomington. He was born at Easton, Pa., March 24, 1885, the son 
of Chester and Amanda (Barron) Snyder. 

Chester Snyder is a native of Easton, Pa., and his wife was born 
at Bethlehem, Pa. They have resided at Easton for many years, where 
Mr. Snyder is president of the First National Bank. Besides D. W., Jr., 
the subject of this sketch, there is another son, Edward C, who resides 
at Easton. 

D. W. Snyder, Jr., was reared in Easton, Pa., and after finishing the 
high school course there was graduated from Lafayette College. The 

History of McLean County 415 

outline of his business career is as follows: 1907, employed in the shops 
of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company at Pittsburgh, 
Pa. ; 1908, employed in the shops of the same company at Newark, N. J., 
sales engineer of the arc lamp department, and construction engineer for 
the M. A. Maswell Consulting Engineers of Boston, Mass. ; 1909, general 
superintendent of the Northampton Traction Company, Easton, Pa. ; 1910, 
general manager of the Clinton Gas & Electric Company of Clinton, 111. ; 
1914, general superintendent of the Jefferson City Light, Heat & Power 
Company of Jefferson City, Mo., and also superintendent of the Jefferson 
City Bridge & Transit Company. Since 1916 Mr. Snyder has served as 
general manager of the Bloomington & Normal Division of the Illinois 
Power & Light Corporation. He is also vice president of the Lincoln 
Water & Light Company of Lincoln, 111. 

On November 8, 1911, Mr. Snyder was united in marriage at Cape 
Girardeau, Mo., with Miss Lenora Ethel Gramling, a native of Dryers- 
burg, Tenn., and the daughter of E. G. and Tennie (Gordon) Gramling, 
the former a native of Arkansas, and the latter of Tennessee. Mr. and 
Mrs. Gramling now reside at Cape Girardeau, Mo. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Snyder two children have been born, Chester and Mary Gordon Snyder. 

Mr. Snyder is a Republican and is affiliated with the following lodges 
and clubs: Masons, Elks, Rotary, Consistory, D. K. E., Young Men's 
Glub, Bloomington Club, and the Bloomington Country Club. He is at 
present president of the Illinois State Electric Association, vice president 
of the Union Building & Loan Association, director of the Bloomington 
Association of Commerce, and trustee of the Illinois Wesleyan Univer- 
sity. Mr. Snyder is one of the progressive citizens of the county and is 
well and favorably known. 

Miss Leta C. Davis, assistant state secretary of the Illinois Christian 
Missionary Society, is a native of Illinois. She was born near Redmon, in 
Edgar County, Sept. 23, 1892, and is a daughter of Samuel H. and Alice 
(Jones) Davis. 

Samuel H. Davis was born in Washington County, Pa., and followed 
farming during his life. He died June 13, 1893. Mrs. Davis, who was 
born near Crawfordsville, Ind., now resides in Bloomington with her two 

416 History of McLean County 

daughters, Leta C, and Day. Their home is at 1020 East Front street. 
The only son of Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Harlan, died in infancy. 

Miss Davis lived in Paris, 111., until 1916. After finishing high school 
at 16 years of age there, she became secretary to the superintendent of 
Paris city schools. Her next position was as secretary to the county 
superintendent of schools in Edgar county. After holding a position as 
bookkeeper in a building and loan office, she was appointed assistant state 
secretary of the Illinois Christian Missionary Society, which position 
she has held for the past eight years. Miss Davis is also state super- 
intendent of Christian Endeavor for the Disciples of Christ. 

Miss Davis is a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). 
She is an energetic young woman with a large circle of friends. 

John R. Smith. — Farming, blacksmithing, banking and merchandizing 
constitute the scale of activities which lifted the name of John R. Smith 
to enviable prominence and influence in the city of Bloomington. Mr. 
Smith is a man of varied capacity and unusual resource. His ideals in 
business and general life were on the ascending scale, else he had always 
followed the plow or wielded the hammer and anvil. Born in Madison 
County, Ky., Jan. 14, 1820, his early influences were inspiring, for his 
parents, Jacob and Eliza (Porter) Smith, natives of Philadelphia and 
Kentucky respectively, were successful people, and upon taking up their 
residence in Bloomington in 1851, invested heavily in farm lands, the su- 
pervision of which occupied the time of the elder Smith for the balance 
of his active life. He died Aug. 18, 1874, and his wife, March 13, 1875, 
both being 83 years old at the time of death. 

John R. Smith was reared on a Kentucky farm and profited by the 
best training to be found in the country school. In early manhood he 
learned the blacksmith's trade, and upon this basis of support, he estab- 
lished a home of his own in Madison County, Ky., marrying Charlotte P. 
Fox, who was born in Madison County, Oct. 30, 1826. Mr. Smith and his 
wife accompanied his father to Bloomington in 1851, and here he found 
a lucrative field for his trade, which he followed in a well patronized little 
shop for several years. He then became one of the chief organizers and 
for ten years was president of the McLean County Bank, an occupation 


Of (HE. 

History of McLean County 417 

which he was obliged to abandon owing to the close confinement which 
seriously undermined his health. In a boot and shoe establishment which 
he opened he found the variety and change required for regaining his 
health, and he was thus employed until a few years before his death, 
April 23, 1886. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born three children: Mary E., who mar- 
ried first Homer McLean, who died Dec. 13, 1869, and who later married 
D. C. Carmichael, who died Nov. 14, 1883. He was in the civil service as 
mail operator with the Chicago & Alton Railroad and later in the shoe 
business. She has a daughter, Charlotta, the wife of Charles T. Stevenson ; 
Nannie B., the widow of James Challis, lives with her sister, Mrs. Car- 
michael; and I. D. Smith, deceased. 

Mr. Smith was one of the best known men in Bloomington and no 
figure was more familiar upon the streets of the city. He had a fine nature 
and noble ideals, and these were reflected in the expression of his face, in 
the clasp of his hand, and the genuine sympathy and good fellowship 
which seemed always to dominate his immediate environment. 

Harry H. Peters, state secretary of the Illinois Christian Missionary 
Society, is a widely known citizen of McLean County. He was born 
near Lancaster, in Lawrence County, 111., July 9, 1871, the son of Robert 
and Loretta (Sapp) Peters. 

Robert Peters was a native of Lawrence County, 111., and his wife 
was born near Mt. Carmel, in Wabash County, 111. Mr. Peters was a 
school teacher in the early days, and died in 1915. His wife lives at 
Indianapolis, Ind. They were the parents of the following chidren: Mrs. 
Christ Lmdeman, Robert H. Peters, and James E. Peters, who lives at 
Glendale, Cal. ; H. C, lives at Evansville, Ind. ; Mrs. Richard Lord, lives 
at Glendale, Cal. ; Mrs. Russell Peed, lives in Indianapolis, Ind. ; Mrs. Meade 
Powell lives at Indianapolis, Ind. ; John W., lives at Evansville, Ind. ; 
H. H., the subject of this sketch; Rosa May, deceased, and three daugh- 
ters who died in infancy. 

H. H. Peters lived in southern Illinois until he was 25 years of age, 
and is a graduate of Eureka College. After teaching school for three 
years, Mr. Peters entered the ministry. After serving as pastor for 12 

418 History of McLean County 

years, he served as Endowment Secretary of Eureka College five years, 
pastor of the Paris Christian Church for four years, and has been State 
Secretary of the Illinois Christian Missionary Society for nearly eight 

On Nov. 5, 1892, Mr. Peters was married to Miss Minnie E. Rigg, a 
native of Bellmont, 111., and the daughter of John Mac and Mary Jane 
(Ballard) Rigg, natives of Illinois, both of whom are deceased. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Peters two daughters were born: Mrs. Mary Loretta Cleaver, 
whose husband is a process engineer with the Remy Electric Company, 
Anderson, Ind., and Mrs. Ruth Jane Risser, whose husband is an elec- 
trical engineer with the Westinghouse Company, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Mr. Peters is a Democrat and belongs to the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his wife are 
members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and are highly 
respected members of their community. 

Leroy G. Whitmer, president of the American Foundry and Furnace 
Company of Bloomington, is a member of one of McLean County's promi- 
nent pioneer families. He was born at Bloomington, July 15, 1871, and is 
the son of Peter and Lucy (McDonald) Whitmer. 

Peter Whitmer, a leading business man of Bloomington for many , 
years, was born at Chambersburg, Pa., Feb. 22, 1828, the son of Peter and 
Mary (Hess) Whitmer, the former born Nov. 27, 1775, in the same house 
which was the birthplace of his son and in which he lived all his life, dying 
there Sept. 8, 1852. Mary (Hess) Whitmer was a native of Cumberland 
County, Pa., born April 2, 1799, and she died March 4, 1842. 

Peter Whitmer was educated in the country schools of Pennsylvania 
and learned the harness making and saddlery trades. In April, 1852, he 
came west and located at Bloomington, 111., where he established himself 
in the saddlery and harness making business, under the firm name of 
Moore & Whitmer. The business was located at the corner of Wash- 
ington and Center streets, the present site of the Peoples Bank. 
Mr. Whitmer later sold his business and engaged in the grocery business 
on Center Street for three years. He then became interested in the lum- 
ber business in Bloomington, to which he devoted his time for 17 years. 
On Jan. 10, 1875, he sold his business and accepted the presidency of the 

History of McLean County 419 

Peoples Bank, and for 30 years remained at its head. He was also one of 
the organizers of the Bloomington Canning Company, which was organ- 
ized in 1888, and later was very active in that industry. Peter Whitmer 
and wife were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Dr. A. Hooper, 
lives at Pasadena, Cal. ; Charles C, an invalid, lives at Godfrey, 111. ; Mrs. 
J. 0. Willson, 611 North East Street, Bloomington; Mrs. H. C. Hawk, 
Battle Creek, Mich. ; Ira S., President Bloomington Canning Company at 
Bloomington, and Leroy G., the subject of this sketch. 

Leroy G. Whitmer received his education in the public schools at 
Bloomington and was graduated from Eureka College in 1890, and in 1894 
from the law department of Illinois Wesleyan University. He began his 
business career as a bank clerk and practiced law in Bloomington from 
July 1, 1894, to July 1, 1900. On that date he was elected vice-president 
of The American Foundry & Furnace Company, which office he held for 
16 years. In January, 1916, he was elected president and treasurer of 
the company, which office he now holds. 

On April 30, 1896, Mr. Whitmer was married to Miss Mildred E. 
Murphy, a native of Fort W T ayne, Ind., and a daughter of Robert W. and 
Mary A. (Dixon) Murphy, the former a native of New York, the latter 
of Wisconsin. Mr. Murphy died in 1917 and his wife died three years 
later. To Mr. and Mrs. Whitmer have been born two children, as fol- 
lows: Robert P., associated with the management of the American Foun- 
dry & Furnace Company, lives at home, and Mildred F., a student at 
Smith College, Northampton, Mass. 

Mr. Whitmer is a Republican but has never held office. He and his 
wife are members of the First Christian Church of Bloomington, and are 
both active in the social life of the city. Mr. Whitmer served as presi- 
dent of the Association of Commerce during 1921 and 1922. He is a 
substantial member of the community and a highly esteemed citizen. 

H. Bert Patton, manager and secretary of the Bloomington Produce 
Company, has been identified with the business development of Bloom- 
ington for over a third of a century. He was born in Carroll County, 
Ind., April 10, 1867, the son of Hezekiah and Elizabeth (Schock) Patton. 

Hezekiah Patton was a native of Maryland and his wife was born 
in Indiana. He came to Indiana when 14 years of age in 1835. In 1850 

420 History of McLean County 

he went to California, where he spent two years. He made the trip 
overland and returned by water and the Isthmus of Panama. Mr. Patton 
died in Indiana in 1901 and his wife died in 1915. There were three 
children: H. Bert, the subject of this sketch; John A., lives at Wichita 
Falls, Texas, and Emma, who died in 1918, was the wife of Perry Million, 
of Monticello, Ind. 

H. Bert Patton was reared on a farm and educated in the public 
schools and Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso, Ind. He 
then engaged in teaching for a time, and later became interested in the 
poultry and egg business at Goodland, Ind., in 1888. In 1890 he came 
to Bloomington and engaged in the same business, locating the following 
year at his present location, 512-514 South Main Street. Mr. Patton 
began business under the firm name of Patton Bros., with his brother who 
now resides at Wichita Falls, Texas. In 1907 the company was incor- 
porated under the present name. 

The Bloomington Produce Company started in a very small way 
and has grown to one of the largest shipping businesses in the country. 
In 1923 the business amounted to two million dollars. The supplies are 
drawn from local buying and car lot business from other states and the 
outlet markets are in the east, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and con- 
tributing markets. The company is capitalized at $60,000. The officers 
are : Charles F. J. Agle, president ; Egbert B. Hawk, vice president ; Henry 
Gilberts, treasurer, and H. Bert Patton, manager and secretary. The 
Bloomington Produce Company buys and sells produce all over and is 
the only institution of the kind in Bloomington. 

H. Bert Patton was married on March 27, 1890, to Miss Nellie E. 
Gilman, of Goodland, Ind., and the daughter of William W. and Nellie 
(Morse) Gilman, natives of New York. At an early date Mr. Gilmar 
went west to Minnesota and later came to Illinois, and finally located at 
Goodland, Ind., where he spent the remainder of his life. He was promi- 
nent in politics and served in the legislature and also the senate of 
Indiana. He was a Republican. Mr. Gilman died in 1912 and his wife 
died in 1920. Mrs. Patton is one of six children living, as follows: Minnie, 
married Milton Wertsbaugh, now deceased, and she resides at York, 
Nebr. ; William, lives at Goodland, Ind. ; Jessie, married Frank Hitt, lives 
in Chicago; Fred, deceased; Carrie, married Dr. O. H. Mohney, lives at 
Goodland, Ind.; and George, who lives in Chicago. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Patton three children were born: Owen B., assistant manager of the 

History of McLean County 421 

Bloomington Produce Company; Feme, resides in Chicago, where she 
is interested in musical work, and Crystal Pearl, a high school student. 

Mr. Patton is a Republican, a member of the First Christian Church, 
and belongs to the Kiwanis Club and the Y. M. C. A., being a director of 
Y. M. C. A. Board, chairman of board of directors of Home Sweet Home 
Mission of Bloomington, and interested in all church and community work 
for public good. 

Dr. Paul E. Greenleaf, a successful physician engaged in the practice 
of his profession with offices at 220 14 North Center street, Bloomington, 
111., is a native of Indiana. He was born at Markland, Ind., Nov. 12, 1885, 
a son of Dr. Hannibal A., and Mary A. (Strain) Greenleaf, the former a 
native of Nathez, Miss., and the latter of Cincinnati, Ohio. The father 
now resides at Jeffersonville, Ind., and the mother died in May, 1919, and 
is buried at Vevay, Ind. Dr. Hannibal A. Greenleaf was a capable physi- 
cian and surgeon and was engaged in the practice for many years. He 
is now living retired. 

Dr. Paul E. Greenleaf was one of four children born to his parents, 
as follows : Mrs. Grace Pell, Louisville, Ky. ; Carroll Greenleaf, Charlotte, 
N. C. ; Joseph Greenleaf, Waco, Texas, and Dr. Paul E. Greenleaf, the 
subject of this sketch. 

Dr. Greenleaf was reared at Markland, Switzerland County, Ind., and 
received his education in the common and the high schools at Vevay, 
Ind., and Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind. He taught school for 
three years. He then entered the medical department of the University 
of Louisville, at Louisville, Ky., where he was graduated with the degree 
of Doctor of Medicine. After serving a hospital interneship at St. Mary 
and Elizabeth Hospital, at Louisville, Ky., he came to McLean County and 
engaged in the practice of his profession at Lexington. Three years 
later he located in Bloomington where he has built up a large practice. 

When the United States entered the World war, Dr. Greenleaf was 
among the first to offer his services to the government. He was com- 
missioned first lieutenant on May 11, 1918, and left Bloomington, June 
13, 1918, upon receiving a call to the service. His first orders sent him to 
the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City where 
he was given special instruction in the Carrel-Dakin method of the treat- 

422 History of McLean County 

ment of infected wounds. Upon completion of this course he was ordered 
to report for temporary duty at Base Hospital at Camp Gordon, Ga., near 
Atlanta. He remained there during July and August and was then 
ordered to leave Camp Gordon and proceed to the Medical Officers Train- 
ing Camp at Camp Greenleaf, Ga., for a course in military training 
and military surgery. After two months at Camp Greenleaf he was 
ordered to Bellevue Hospital, New York City, for a special course in the 
treatment of fractures and war injuries. This course was intended for 
men who were to be sent overseas for taking care of the wounded in 
base hospitals. His final period of duty was at Camp Meade, Md., where 
he was stationed at the base hospital where the formation of a base 
hospital was being made for overseas duty. Just when his unit was 
completed and all the members were in readiness to go to France, the 
armistice was signed and the orders to sail were countermanded. Dr. 
Greenleaf, however, was kept in active service until January, 1919, when 
he received his discharge and resumed his practice in Bloomington. 

Dr. Greenleaf was married at Bloomington, June 16, 1915, to Miss 
Julia E. O'Neil, a native of Bloomington, and a daughter of Daniel M. 
and Joan (Pyne) O'Neil, natives of Ireland and both now deceased. The 
mother died in February, 1914, and the father in February, 1922. To Dr. 
and Mrs. Greenleaf has been born one child, Paul Anthony Greenleaf, born 
Jan. 26, 1920. 

Dr. Greenleaf is a Republican and a member of the Catholic Church. 
His lodge affiliations are with the Knights of Columbus, Woodmen of the 
World and the Court of Honor. Dr. Greenleaf has an extensive acquaint- 
ance in Bloomington and McLean County and is held in the highest esteem. 

James William Parker. — The firm of Parker Bros., of Bloomington, 
are establishers and promoters of one of the largest lumber and coal 
enterprises in McLean County. 

James William Parker was born in Nicholas County, Ky., Sept. 18, 
1844, the son of John and Nancy (Talbot) Parker. John Parker was a 
native of Virginia, born in 1808, and his wife was born in Bourbon County, 
Ky., in 1814. Mr. Parker was educated in Virginia and when a young 
man moved to Kentucky with his parents, where he followed farming the 
remainder of his life. He died in 1849 and his wife died Jan. 19, 1860. 

History of McLean County 423 

They are buried at Carlisle, Ky. There were seven children in the Parker 
family, as follows : Sarah Jane, married W. W. Talbert ; Thomas, a mem- 
ber of the firm of Parker Bros., lives at 804 East Grove St. ; George Luther, 
lives at 711 East Grove St.; James William, the subject of this sketch; 
Elizabeth Mary ; Emma, married I. M. Chism, and John T. Parker died in 

James William Parker lived in Nicholas County, Ky., until he was 
five years old, when his parents moved to Bourbon County. He received 
his education in the common schools and attended Kentucky Wesleyan 
University and a business college in Covington, Ky. He began life as a 
farmer. The first member of the family to respond to the local lumber 
need was George Luther Parker, who arrived in Bloomington in 1866. 
Two years later he, with others, purchased the Horace McCurdy Lumber 
business and operated it under the name of Parker, Means & Scott. Means 
retired during the first year and in 1870, after working for the company 
for two years, James William and Thomas Parker purchased an interest 
in the business. Since that time the firm has been known as Parker 
Bros. The firm remained intact until 1904 when Thomas Parker resigned, 
his place being taken by George W. Parker, a son of James W. Parker. 
This partnership continued until June 1, 1922, when George Luther 
Parker retired, selling out his interest to the other partners, who now 
constitute the firm of Parker Bros. The place of business is at 923 East 
Grove Street, where ample buildings, sheds, and general facilities' are 
provided for conducting the trade with method and dispatch. In the early 
history of the firm of Parker Bros., before the building of the Big Four 
and Lake Erie Railroads, lumber was hauled from their yards as far as 
Ford County, 111. Most of the lumber at that time came from Michigan 
and Wisconsin by way of Chicago. 

On Nov. 17, 1874, James William Parker was married in Bloomington 
to Miss Rosanna C. Weith, a native of Peoria County, 111., and a daughter 
Of George and Elizabeth (Walters) Weith. Mr. Weith was born in Hes- 
sedarmstadt, Germany, and came to the United States as a young man. 
His wife was born in Switzerland and came to this country with her 
parents in childhood. He died in 1851 and his wife died in 1862. To 
James William and Rosanna C. (Weith) Parker six children have been 
born as follows: George Weith, lives at 1015 East Grove Street, and is 
associated in business with his father; Nancy Maud, married Raymond 
D. Dooley, lives at 614 East Walnut Street; Elizabeth Grace, a teacher 

424 History of McLean County 

in Bloomington High School, lives at 803 East Front St. ; Christina Ella, 
married Henry L. Carter, lives at Carlisle, Ky. ; Emma Ruth, married 
Charles J. Robinson, lives at Des Moines, Iowa; and Mary Alice, at home. 
Mr. Parker is a member of the Baptist Church and the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. He lives at 803 East Front Street. Mr. Parker is 
a reliable business man, one of the substantial citizens of his community 
and the Parker family ranks among the leading families of McLean 

Thomas Ellis Champion is a well known retired business man of Nor- 
mal. He was born in Bristol, England, March 5, 1843, the son of George 
and Eleanor (Ellis) Champion. 

George Champion was a native of England, as also was his wife. He 
died in 1843 on the coast of Africa and 11 years later his wife brought 
her three children to the United States and settled in Kane County, 111. 
There were three children, as follows: Thomas Ellis, the subject of this 
sketch ; George, a retired merchant of Normal, a sketch of whom also 
appears in this volume; and Miss Athaliah, who lives with her brother, 

Thomas Ellis Champion was 11 years of age when his mother brought 
him to this country and he received his education in the district schools 
of Kane County, 111. After finishing his school work, Mr. Champion was 
employed by D. F. Barkley of Elgin, 111., where he learned the tinner's 
trade, and received $30.00 per year for his services. In 1864 he went to 
Waukegan, III, and worked in a tin shop there for three years, after 
which time he came to Normal and opened a hardware and tin shop with 
his brother, George. Mr. Champion later sold his interest to his brother 
and then opened a canning factory at Normal, which he successfully con- 
ducted for 56 years. The factory is located on East Ash Street, adjoining 
the Champion home. In 1919 Mr. Champion sold his factory and since 
that time has lived retired. 

On May 5, 1866, Mr. Champion was married to Miss Fannie Hopkin- 
son, a native of Waukegan, 111., born in 1850, and the daughter of Isaac 
and Pulcheria (Davis) Hopkinson. Mr. Hopkinson was a prominent at- 
torney at Waukegan for a number of years. Mrs. Champion died May 13, 
1906, leaving six children, as follows : Grace, deceased ; Trevor, lives at 




History of McLean County 425 

Chicago and has three children, Beatrice, Ellsworth and Catherine; Elea- 
nor, married Bert G. Finch, lives in Oklahoma City, Okla. ; Ethel Louisa, 
married L. R. Manning, lives at Normal, and has one child, Hortence 
Clark ; Jacquelin, married Bert Kuss, lives at Gary, Ind. ; and Blanche, the 
widow of Edwin Iehl, lives at Long Beach, Calif. 

Thomas Ellis Champion is an independent voter and he is a member 
of the Methodist Church. He is a man who is highly esteemed in his 
community and he is a valued citizen. 

Dr. Arthur E. Rogers, who has practiced his profession for over 25 
years with honor and exceptional ability, is a veteran of the World War 
and one of Bloomington's broadminded and public spirited citizens. He 
was born at Covell, 111., in 1870, the son of Thomas A. and Isabella M. 
(Shade) Rogers. 

Thomas A. Rogers and his wife were natives of Lancaster, Pa., and 
early settlers of Covell, 111., where Mr. Rogers owned and operated 400 
acres of farm land. He held public offices and was supervisor at the time 
of his death in 1892, which was caused by a runaway accident. His wife 
died in 1921. They were the parents of five children, as follows: Mary 
B. Hoover, died Dec. 19, 1923; Maggie J., deceased; Rev. S. A. D. Rogers, 
deceased; Nettie E. Mitchell, lives at Bloomington; and Dr. Arthur E., 
the subject of this sketch. 

Dr. Arthur E. Rogers received his early schooling in the schools of 
Covell and Bloomington, and Illinois Wesleyan University. After teach- 
ing school for two years he entered Louisville Medical College in 1894, 
but the following year went to Rush Medical College at Chicago, from 
which he was graduated in 1897. He immediately entered Dr. Godfrey's 
office at Bloomington, where he remained until the fall of 1897, when a 
partnership was entered into with Dr. D. H. Nusbaum, which lasted until 
1900, the time of the big fire in Bloomington which destroyed their offices 
and equipment. Dr. Rogers then practiced his profession in the Greis- 
heim building and later in the Peoples Bank building at Bloomington. In 
the fall of 1908 he took post graduate work in eye, ear, throat and nose 
work at London and Berlin, and on his return specialized in that line of 
work until the time of the World War in 1917. He entered service at 
Fort Riley, Kan., as a specialist in the X-ray department and was as- 

426 History of McLean County 

signed to Evacuation Hospital No. 16 at Camp Meade, Md., and later sent 
to France. He assisted in caring for the wounded during the battle of 
St. Mihiel and the Argonne campaign, being located near Verdun. After 
the close of the war his organization was sent to Coblenz, Germany, in 
charge of the main hospital there. At the time of his discharge in 1919 
he held the rank of Major. He again took up the practice of medicine 
at Bloomington as an X-ray and skin specialist. He is now serving as 
member of Pension Board for McLean County. 

In 1896 Dr. Rogers was married at Stanford, 111., to Miss Sadie R. 
Paul, a native of Stanford, 111., and a daughter of William and Louise Paul, 
natives of Ohio, now deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Rogers have two children, 
as follows: Byron S., a graduate of the law school of Illinois Wesleyan 
University, lives at Bloomington; and W. Paul, associated with the F. W. 
Woolworth Co. 

In politics Dr. Rogers is identified with the Republican party and he 
belongs to the Masonic lodge, being a member of the Consistory ; the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows; the Modern Woodmen of America, and 
the R. N. A., also a charter member American Legion and Veteran of 
Foreign Wars. He is a member of the First Methodist Church and his 
wife belongs to the Christian Church. Besides his practice, Dr. Rogers 
has also been interested in the housing situation of Bloomington and 
Normal, and has made a specialty of building and selling homes on the 
payment plan. 

Dr. Rogers is widely known in McLean County and has well earned 
the respect and esteem of his many friends. 

Dr. Harry Lee Howell, a capable physician and surgeon who has been 
successfuly engaged in the practice of his profession for the past 20 
years in Bloomington, with the exception of a period of 29 months in the 
Medical Department of the United States Navy during the World War, 
is a native of Indiana. He was born in Porter County, Ind., June 3, 1878, 
a son of Lee Griggs and Kate Rhea (Bailey) Howell, the former a native 
of Springfield, Ohio, and the latter of Terre Haute, Ind. 

Lee Griggs Howell was educated in Antioch College. He was a promi- 
nent farmer and raised horses and cattle extensively. He served as county 
commissioner of Porter County, Ind., for several terms. He died May 28, 

History of McLean County 427 

1908, and is buried at Valparaiso, Ind. His widow resides at 308 E. Jef- 
ferson Street, Bloomington, 111. They were the parents of three children ; 
Irene, who died in infancy; Dr. Harry Lee, the subject of this sketch; 
and Mrs. Ruth Isabelle Sutton, 900 Taylor Avenue, Scranton, Pa. 

Dr. Howell grew to manhood in Porter County, Ind., and attended 
the public schools at Kouts, Ind., and later the Valparaiso High School 
and Purdue University at Lafayette, Ind. He then entered Rush Medical 
School at Chicago, 111., where he was graduated with the degree of Doctor 
of Medicine in 1904. He then began the practice of medicine and surgery 
at Bloomington, 111., and was continuously in the practice here until the 
United States entered the World War, when he tendered his services to 
the government. He was accepted for service in November, 1917, and was 
first sent to the Great Lakes Naval Training station. Soon after he was 
ordered to the Atlantic coast and assigned as one of the medical officers 
of the U. S. S. "Valamares" which was in the transport service. Remain- 
ing on this boat from April until October, he was transferred to the giant 
transport Leviathan, which was the greatest troop carrying ship under 
the American flag during the war. It had formerly been the Vaterland 
of the German Hamburg-American line, but was interned in an American 
port at the outbreak of the war. It was taken over by the United States 
government and converted into a troop ship. This vessel had a carrying 
capacity of 12,500 men, and the medical officers of such a ship naturally 
had great responsibilities. In his capacity as medical officer, Dr. Howell 
made 15 trips across the Atlantic during the war, but after the signing 
of the armistice came an even greater task for him. The great move- 
ment of troops homeward from France required extra work for the troop 
ships and the Leviathan was one of the most relied upon on account of 
its great capacity and speed. The medical officers' duties were strenu- 
ous, for many of the returning soldiers had been wounded or gassed. Prior 
to April 30, 1919, Dr. Howell had charge of the surgical department for 
troops alone, but after that date his jurisdiction was extended to cover 
the crew also. Dr. Howell continued in this active service until the fall 
of 1919, when he was permitted to return home on a furlough. Not until 
the spring of 1920 did he receive his discharge. He had attained the rank 
of lieutenant, which is a high naval rank. After his discharge he re- 
turned to Bloomington and resumed his practice and is recognized as one 
of the leading physicians and surgeons of central Illinois. 

Dr. Howell was married at Chicago, Sept. 16, 1902, to Miss Rose 

428 History of McLean County 

Belle Bachrach, a native of Litchfield, 111., and a resident of Bloomington. 
She is a daughter of John S. and Emilie (Mandel) Bachrach, the former 
a native of Baltimore, Md., and the latter of Germany. Mr. Bachrach 
died June 13, 1904, and his widow resides at 410 East Front Street. 
Bloomington, 111. To Dr. and Mrs. Howell have been born two children, 
Jane Lee and June Irene, both students in the Bloomington High School. 
Dr. Howell is a Republican and ranks high in Masonry, being a mem- 
ber of all the Masonic bodies, including the 33d degree. He is also a mem- 
ber of the Elks, the Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America. 

Oscar O. Rodman, a retired farmer of McLean County, now living at 
Bloomington, has been known for years as a successful stockman. He was 
born on the David Davis farm, near Bloomington, Dec. 7, 1854, and is a 
son of Scammon and Elizabeth Rodman. 

Scammon Rodman was born in Buck County, Pa., Aug. 27, 1810, and 
his wife was also a native of the same county. In September, 1853, they 
removed to McLean County, and rented a farm for two years. Later, 
Mr. Rodman purchased 80 acres of land and became a successful farmer. 
At the time of his death he was one of the large landholders of the county. 
Mr. Rodman served as justice of the peace for a number of years and also 
as township supervisor. His wife died Jan. 28, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Rod- 
man were the parents of ten children, nine of whom were sons. Mrs. 
Amanda Porter, their daughter, and four sons are now living. 

Oscar O. Rodman was the youngest child and spent his boyhood on 
his father's farm. He engaged in general farming and stock raising and 
lived on the Rodman homestead for 27 years. Since 1917 he has lived 
retired in Bloomington. 

On April 7, 1880, Mr. Rodman was married to Miss Kate B. Schultz, 
a native of Bloomington, born Aug. 2, 1861, and the daughter of John F. 
and Catherine (Dobbins) Schultz. Mr. Schultz was born in Germany and 
in 1852 came to Bloomington where he operated a transfer business for 
many years. He later purchased a farm in Old Township, McLean County, 
where he lived until 1894. He died at Bloomington in 1896, and his wife 
died the following year. Mrs. Rodman was the only child. To. Mr. and 
Mrs. Rodman six children have been born, as follows: Elizabeth J., born 
April 9, 1881, died in infancy; Orlando Scott, born April 12, 1884, died 

History of McLean County 429 

Oct. 2, 1888; Myrtle S., born April 4, 1887, married Floyd Campbell, lives 
at Holder, 111., and they have one child, Muriel L. ; Mildred Permelia, born 
Sept. 28, 1892, married J. Whitwood, lives at Hudson, 111. ; she is a gradu- 
ate of Grays Music College; Fairy Dell, born Feb. 19, 1897, is a graduate 
of Grays Music College, Bloomington, lives in Chicago; and Howard 
Newton, mention of whom is made below. 

Howard Newton Rodman was born July 7, 1899, and received his edu- 
cation in the public and high schools at Downs, 111. He was employed 
in the office of the Pantagraph at the time of the World War and enlisted 
when he was 18 years old. He died in a government military hospital at 
Hoboken, N. J., on Oct. 9, 1918, after undergoing an operation, and is 
buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Old Town. He was a member of 
the Downs Methodist Church. 

Mr. and Mrs. Oscar 0. Rodman are members of the Methodist Church 
and are highly respected citizens of McLean County, where they have 
spent their entire lives. 

W. C. Means, a former county treasurer and a member of one of 
the very early pioneer families of McLean County, is a native of this 
county. He was born in Cheneys Grove Township, Jan. 4, 1852, and is a 
son of David Dixon and Rebecca (Cline) Means. 

David Dixon Means was a son of Robert and Sarah (Rumsey) Means, 
who moved from Kentucky to Vermilion County, 111., in the fall of 1829. 
They spent the winter there and in the following spring removed to Che- 
neys Grove Township, McLean County, arriving there on March 9, 1830. 
They located on the north side of the grove, about one mile from the 
west end, and was the fourth white family to settle at Cheneys Grove. 
The place where Robert Means settled in Cheneys Grove is now owned 
by three of his grandchildren, the children of his youngest child, Mrs. Mar- 
garet Means Vanscoyoc. Robert Means lived about five years after com- 
ing to McLean County. He died Aug. 1, 1835, leaving his widow with 
10 children. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. 

David Dixon Means, father of W. C. Means, was about four years 
old when his parents settled at Cheneys Grove. He grew to manhood 
amidst the pioneer surroundings of this county in the early days. When 
he attained his majority he entered 120 acres of land from the govern- 

430 History of McLean County 

ment, one and one-half miles north of the land settled by his parents in 
Cheneys Grove Township. In 1850 he was married to Rebecca Cline and 
began housekeeping in the old log cabin which his father built when the 
family settled at Cheneys Grove. This was the home of David Dixon 
Means for only a few years when he built on his own land. 

Rebecca Cline, the wife of David Dixon Means, was the daughter of 
George Cline, who was also one of the early pioneers of Illinois. He lived 
near Old Berlin, 16 miles west of Springfield. He was a veteran of the 
War of 1812 and was a Whig up to the time of the organization of the 
Republican party. He was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and 
one of Lincoln's ardent political supporters. 

W. C. Means was born in the old log cabin which his grandfather, 
Robert Means, built at Cheneys Grove. He was the oldest of a family 
of 12 children, nine brothers of whom are living. Two brothers are de- 
ceased, one dying at the age of three years and the other at the age of 
12, and one sister who died at the age of six years. 

W. C. Means was reared on the farm which his father entered from 
the government in Cheneys Grove Township. He began his educational 
career on April 1, 1858, in a new school house, which was built by the 
settlers in a new district which had just been formed. His first teacher 
was Charles Randall, who taught a term of three months. The second 
teacher of the new district was Charles Bovee and the third was Miss 
Laura Case. After 1861 young Means' school days were limited to the 
winter months as he had to assist his father with the farm work during 
the summer months. In 1866 and 1867 he attended what was known as 
the Saybrook Academy for six months each year, and in 1872 he was a 
student at the Wesleyan University at Bloomington for six months. 

On Nov. 3, 1875, W. C. Means was married to Miss Mary Alice Lewis. 
She is a daughter of John D. and Margaret (Riggs) Lewis, early settlers 
in Cheneys Grove Township. Mrs. Means was reared on a farm just one 
mile from the boyhod home of Mr. Means. They knew each other from 
early childhood and attended the same district school together. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Means have been born two children, as follows: Roy DeBell, 
teller in the First National Bank of Pueblo, Colo., married Grace King of 
Lamar, Colo., and they have one child, Roy D., Jr. ; and Margaret Pearl 
Means, resides in Bloomington with her parents. 

Mr. Means began life for himself as a farmer and stock raiser. In 
1883 he was elected township collector of Cheneys Grove Township and 

History of McLean County 431 

served three years. In 1886 he moved to Saybrook where he was engaged 
in the grocery business for 12 years. He was elected township assessor 
and served 14 years in that capacity. In 1899 he accepted a position as 
aassistant county treasurer under Joseph C. Means and served for four 
years, when he was again elected assessor of Cheneys Grove Township 
and served two years. In 1905 he accepted a position as deputy county 
recorder with M. B. Carson and served in that capacity until December, 
1910. He then became deputy county treasurer under P. M. Stubblefield, 
serving for four years, and also served as deputy county treasurer for 
four years under Joseph F. Rice. In 1918 he was elected county treas- 
urer, serving until the expiration of his term, Dec. 1, 1922. 

Mr. Means is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church. 
He cast his first presidential vote for Rutherford B. Hayes. He says 
that he was a Republican before he was old enough to vote by virtue of 
the influence of his grandfather, George Cline, who was a charter mem- 
ber of the Republican party and a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. 

Mr. Means is one of the widely known men of McLean County and 
the many positions of public trust which have been delegated to him 
have been faithfully and efficiently filled. 

George C. Heberling, president of the Heberling Medicine and Ex- 
tract Company of Bloomington, is a well known and successful business 
man of McLean County. He was born at Cadiz, Ohio, March 12, 1875, 
and is a son of W. S. and Rose (Hagan) Heberling. 

W. S. Heberling was born at Cadiz, Ohio, and his wife was a native 
of Adena, Ohio. He followed farming and stock raising for many years 
and is now living retired at Buchanan, Mich. His wife is deceased. Mr. 
and Mrs. W. S. Heberling had five children: Mrs. Iona Webb, lives at 
Bloomington, 111. ; J. G., lives at Peoria, 111. ; H. S., lives at West Liberty, 
Iowa; Mrs. Madella Phillips, lives in Bloomington; and George C, the 
subject of this sketch. 

George C. Heberling spent his boyhood at Cadiz, Ohio, and received 
his education in the public school. After completing a commercial and 
stenographic course at Valparaiso, Ind., he was employed in the office of 
the Griffin Wheel Company in Chicago for five years. In 1902, Mr. Heber- 
ling came to Bloomington and organized the Heberling Medicine & Ex- 

432 History of McLean County 

tract Company, in which business he has been engaged ever since. This 
company manufactures medicines, flavoring extracts, toilet articles, etc., 
and is known in 25 different states. There are 300 people employed in the 
manufacture and sale of the company's product. 

In 1900, Mr. Heberling was married to Miss Mertle Dickerson, a na- 
tive of West Liberty, Iowa, and a daughter of John C. and Sarah A. Dick- 
erson, natives of Iowa, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Heberling have one 
daughter, Lucile, who married Edward J. Harpfer, and they live in De- 
troit, Mich. 

Mr. Heberling is a Republican and has served as president of the 
Bloomington Association of Commerce, and also president of the Bloom- 
ington Club. He is a member of the Second Christian Church and belongs 
to the Masonic Lodge, Consistory and Shrine. He is also a member of the 
Woodmen and the T. P. A. Mr. Heberling is a member of the Blooming- 
ton Country Club and the Maplewood Country Club. He is at present a 
member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Commerce, and 
has always taken an active part in the industrial development of the 
city in which he lives. 

Frank E. Shorthose, deceased, was born near Danvers, March 29, 
1865, the son of John L. and Eleanor (Frazier) Shorthose. 

John L. Shorthose was born in Staffordshire, England, June 25, 1827, 
and his wife was a native of Belmont County, Ohio, born Oct. 16, 1837. 
Mr. Shorthose came to America in 1849 with his two brothers and landed 
in New York City. He lived in Zanesville, Ohio, for two years, and then 
came to Illinois and engaged in the milling business with his brothers at 
Danvers. Mr. Shorthose later purchased a farm of 480 acres of land in 
Danvers Township, which he improved, and for many years he was among 
the leading and successful stockmen of McLean County. He bred Short- 
horn cattle, Poland China hogs and high grade horses. Mr. Shorthose re- 
tired one month before the time of his death, Nov. 14, 1898. He was a 
staunch Republican and served on the school board for a number of years. 
Mrs. Shorthose died May 14, 1914, at Seward, Neb. There were eight 
children in the family, as follows: Mrs. Alice Dickinson, lives at Seward, 
Neb. ; A. R., Danvers, 111. ; Mrs. Johanna Hartsock, lives in Los Angeles, 
Calif. ; John L., died June 25, 1876 ; Thomas H., accidentally killed in Den- 




History of McLean County 433 

ver, Colo., July 2, 1912; Belle, died Jan. 3, 1883; Frank E., the subject of 
this sketch; and William T., died March 17, 1921, at Bloomington, 111., 
where he had been a druggist for a number of years. 

Frank E. Shorthose was educated in the public schools of McLean 
County and lived on the home farm until he was 22 years old. After 
spending three years in Denver, Colo., Mr. Shorthose returned to McLean 
County and farmed for five years and then entered the employ of the 
Chicago and Alton Railroad on March 29, 1903, as a fireman. After three 
years and eight months he was promoted to engineer. Mr. Shorthose held 
a splendid record for his services with the company. In April, 1923, he 
was elected mayor of Bloomington in a sweeping victory. He was a Repub- 
lican and received 5,222 votes while the Democratic candidate received 
1,860 votes. It was one of the most decisive victories that has been re- 
corded in Bloomington for many years. He retained his position as en- 
gineer with his duties as mayor, having a leave of absence from the rail- 
road company. On Jan. 4, 1924, during his term of office Mr. Shorthose 

Mr. Shorthose was married on April 12, 1917, to Miss Flora Schlegel, 
a native of McLean County and the daughter of Charles Schlegel, a native 
of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Shorthose had no children. 

Mr. Shorthose was always a Republican. He was a 32nd degree 
Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Bloomington Consistory and the 
Shrine at Peoria and belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi- 
neers, Division No. 19. Mr. Shorthose was favorably known throughout 
McLean County as a progressive citizen and a man of enterprise and 

William W. Tilden, a prominent citizen of Bloomington, who was suc- 
cessfully engaged in the lumber business, is a native of New York. He 
was born at Jamestown, Dec. 22, 1867, and is the son of Adalbert L. and 
Mary C. (Wheeler) Tilden. 

Adalbert L. Tilden was born at Garrettsville, Ohio, and is now living 
retired at New Haven, Conn. For many years he was engaged in lum- 
bering and farming in Erie County, Pa., and served as assistant secretary 
of state four years, under Governor Patterson, Harrisburg, Pa. His wife, 
who was born at Batavia, N. Y., died in 1902, and is buried at Union City, 


434 History of McLean County 

Pa. There were three children in the Tilden family: Charles A., died 
in 1916; Mrs. R. K. Fenno, lives at New Haven, Conn.; and William W., 
the subject of this sketch. 

William W. Tilden was reared at LeBouf, Erie County, Pa., and re- 
ceived his education in the schools of Waterford, Pa. He began life as 
a farmer and in 1889 entered the retail lumber business at Wichita, 
Kan., afterward being located at Winfield and Arkansas City, Kan., Guth- 
rie, Okla., Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Chicago and Decatur, 111. Mr. Til- 
den has been connected with the Corn Belt Lumber Company of Bloom- 
ington for several years. 

On June 10, 1901, Mr. Tilden was united in marriage with Miss Pa- 
milla A. Ruff, a native of Chicago and a daughter of Joseph and Desde- 
mona (Anderson) Ruff, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of 
New York. At the time of her marriage Mrs. Tilden lived at 3036 Lake 
Park Avenue, Chicago. Mr. Ruff lives at 1347 Hood Avenue, Chicago. 
His wife died April 1, 1902. To William W. and Pamilla A. (Ruff) Tilden 
have been born three children: Margaret A., Pamilla W., and William W., 
Jr. The Tilden home is located at 43 Whites Place, Bloomington. 

Mr. Tilden is a Republican and he and his family are members of the 
Baptist Church. He is affiliated with the following clubs and lodges: 
Arts & Crafts Lodge No. 1017, A. F. & A. M., Bloomington Consistory, 
Bloomington Club, Maplewood Country Club, McLean County Country 
Club, Consistory Club, Rotary Club and Y. M. C. A. Mr. Tilden has been 
unusually successful and is considered one of Bloomington's most effi- 
cient citizens. 

Albert W. Belcher, now living retired at Bloomington, has been a sub- 
stantial citizen of McLean County for many years. He was born at Brim- 
field, 111., Feb. 22, 1840, and is a son of Daniel and Rachel Belcher. 

Daniel Belcher was born near Boston, Mass., and came to Illinois in 
1835, locating at Brimfield where he owned and operated a hotel for many 
years. Mr. and Mrs. Belcher had three children, of whom Albert W., the 
subject of this sketch, is the only one now living. 

Albert W. Belcher was educated in the district schools and assisted 
his father about the hotel for several years. On Aug. 27, 1862, he en- 
listed in Company H. 86th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served through- 

History of McLean County 435 

out the war. He was with the regiment in every battle and was never 
sick or wounded. He was with Sherman on his famous March to the Sea, 
and was discharged June 28, 1865. Mr. Belcher then returned home and 
engaged in the grain and milling business for a number of years. He 
entered the employ of the Hays Pump & Planter Company as a travel- 
ing salesman, and remained in the employ of this company for 28 years. 
He has lived in Bloomington since 1892 but did not retire from business 
until 1918. 

In December, 1869, Mr. Belcher was married to Miss Sarah Slocum, 
the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Slocum, who resided at Brimfield, 
111. To Mr. and Mrs. Belcher four children were born, as follows: Thad- 
deus, died at the age of 34 years; Lois, married A. W. Sumner, who is 
engaged in the real estate business in Bloomington; Delia, married H. P. 
Ferguson, an engineer in one of the large sugar plants at Cuba, where they 
reside; and Allen, died at the age of seven years. 

Mr. and Mrs. Belcher attend the Christian Scientist Church at Bloom- 
ington. He has voted the Prohibition party, after that any other, but his 
candidate must have a clean record. 

Charles Creel, now living retired at Bloomington, has had a success- 
ful career as a farmer and stockman of McLean County. He was born in 
Dawson Township, McLean County, Dec. 17, 1860, and is a son of Will- 
iam and Rebecca (Jacoby) Creel. 

William Creel was one of the earliest settlers of McLean County. 
He was born in Virginia, April 26, 1805, and came to Illinois in 1838, 
locating at Bloomington, where he worked at his trade as shoemaker. In 
1844 he purchased a farm in Dawson Township, McLean County, where 
he spent the remainder of his life. Mr. Creel died Dec. 13, 1901, and his 
wife died Nov. 6, 1876. She was born in Illinois, Sept. 23, 1821, and was 
the daughter of Henry and Julie (Clark) Jacoby. To William and Re- 
becca (Jacoby) Creel seven children were born, as follows: Elizabeth 
Dooley, deceased; Mary Weber, lives at LeRoy, 111.; William, deceased; 
George, lives retired at Bloomington ; Sarah, lives with her brother Charles 
in Bloomington; John lives retired in Bloomington; and Charles, the sub- 
ject of this sketch. 

Charles Creel spent his boyhood on the home place in Dawson Town- 
ship and was educated in the district schools. He has always followed 

•436 History of McLean County 

farming and has been among the extensive breeders of hogs in McLean 
County. He usually had about 400 hogs on his place and was also a 
feeder of stock. Mr. Creel owned 427 acres of well-improved land, which 
was located in Dawson and Empire Townships. For the past four years 
he has lived retired at 1219 East Washington Street, Bloomington. 

Mr. Creel is identified with the Democratic party in politics. He has 
an extensive acquaintance in McLean County and is highly respected. 
Mr. Creel is unmarried. 

Rev. Charles Tupper Baillie, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church 
of Bloomington, is a leading and influential citizen of McLean County. 
He was born at Pictou, Nova Scotia, Dec. 9, 1884, and is a son of George 
William and Janet Ellen (Calder) Baillie. 

George William Walker Baillie was a native of Pictou, Nova Scotia, 
and his wife was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He began life as a news- 
paper reporter at Pictou and later became owner and editor of one of the 
daily papers there. He was a graduate of Pictou Academy and after com- 
ing to this country worked as a reporter on several papers, including 
Boston papers. Mr. Baillie was owner and editor of The Pictou Standard 
at the time of his death, in 1887. He is buried at Pictou, Nova Scotia. 
His wife lives with her son, Rev. Charles T. Baillie, at 1301 E. Washing- 
ton Street, Bloomington. Mr. and Mrs. Baillie were the parents of four 
children, as follows: George, deceased; Nettie, deceased; Arthur Cald- 
well, secretary of the Home Insurance Company, 56 Cedar Street, New 
York City; and Rev. Charles Tupper, the subject of this sketch. 

Rev. Charles Tupper Baillie was reared in Halifax, N. S., and at- 
tended the public and high schools there, after which he was graduated 
from Dalhousie University at Halifax, N. S. He was a candidate for the 
Rhodes Scholarship from Nova Scotia, obtaining second place. In 190o 
he won the degree of M. A. and entered the Law School of Dalhousie Uni- 
versity. Mr. Baillie went to San Fernando, Trinidad, B. W. I. in 1906 to 
become Head Master of Naparina College, a school modeled on the great 
English public schools. In 1909 he came to New York to enter the Union 
Theological Seminary, whence he graduated in 1912, winning the Trav- 
eling Fellowship awarded annually by the Seminary. Thereafter he 
studied in Germany for two years, at the Universities of Marburg, Ber- 
lin and Halle. 

History of McLean County 437 

In 1914, Mr. Baillie accepted a position on the teaching staff of the 
Presbyterian Theological Seminary, San Fernando, B. W. I. His health 
broke down and in 1917 he returned to New York. After a few months' 
rest he was able to accept the position of student assistant in the Church 
History Department of the Union Theological Seminary. Mr. Baillie held 
this post for two years, accepting the pastorate of the First Presbyterian 
Church, Plattsburgh, N. Y., in 1919. He came to Bloomington, April 

On Aug. 24, 1909, Mr. Baillie was united in marriage with Miss Nina 
Vincent, a native of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies. She 
is a daughter of Col. Harry and Jane H. (McClean) Vincent, both natives 
of Great Britain, and a sister of Capt. Claude H. Vincent of the British 
Royal Flying Corps, who won high distinction during the World War 
Col. Vincent is a retired officer of the British Army and lives at Port-of- 
Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies. His wife died in March, 1920. To 
Reverend and Mrs. Baillie five children have been born, as follows : Ar- 
thur Vincent, Nina Marjorie, Phyllis Maude, Mary Janet McClean, and 
Charles Douglas Baillie. 

Mr. Baillie is a member of the American Church History Society and 
of the Masonic Lodge, Plattsburgh, No. 828. He also belongs to the 
Bloomington Rotary Club and is one of the highly esteemed citizens of 
Bloomington and McLean County. 

W. F. Engle, retired, has been a well-known and successful business 
man of McLean County for many years. He was born in Allegany County, 
N. Y., Jan. 3, 1859, and is the son of T. M. and Mary Jane (McGibeny) 

T. M. Engle was a native of Allegheny County, N. Y., born Aug. 27, 
1824, and his wife was born near Troy, N. Y., March 21, 1831. Mr. Engle 
studied for the ministry, but was obliged to give it up on account of im- 
paired health, which affected his voice. After teaching school for sev- 
eral years he engaged in farming and stock raising, and lived to be 85 
years of age. He died Sept. 14, 1909, and his wife died June 30, 1890. 
They were the parents of seven children, as follows: Florence Virginia, 
born March 22, 1852, died Sept. 29, 1853; Rosamond A., born Aug. 31, 
1854, married George A. Sanford; John Samuel, born Feb. 22, 1856, a 

438 History of McLean County 

retired farmer lives in Angelica, N. Y. ; W. F., the subject of this sketch; 
Jennie May, born May 11, 1864, married Frank Baker, lives in Angelica, 
N. Y. ; Sarah L., lives in Angelica, N. Y. ; and M. B., born Feb. 2, 1871, 
lives at Angelica, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Engle were active members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church and he was Sunday School superintendent 
for many years, sometimes conducting as many as three schools at the 
same time. 

W. F. Engle grew to manhood in New York and was educated in the 
public schools there and attended Alfred University in Allegany County, 
N. Y. After teaching school and music for several years, Mr. Engle be- 
came interested in a hosiery manufacturing company at Rockford, 111., 
which was then known as the S. B. Wilkins Company. The trade-mark 
name of the company afterwards became "Black Cat" and the factory 
was later moved to Kenosha, Wis. This company was one of the largest 
industries of its kind in the United States. 

Mr. Engle purchased a portion of the stock and traveled on the road 
representing it for 30 years. He has lived in Bloomington since 1887 
and has been retired since 1919. Mr. Engle owns several properties and 
apartment buildings in Bloomington and has large land holdings. 

On June 12, 1884, Mr. Engle was united in marriage with Miss Lilian 
L. Worden, a native of Rushford, N. Y., and a daughter of Percy and Asa 
Worden. Mr. Worden was a native of Lyon, N. Y., and Mrs. Worden of 
Rushford, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Worden were the parents of the following 
children: Alton M., born in 1849, a large landowner in Tennessee and 
Alabama; Olivia, married Samuel DuBoyce; Ida, the widow of Charles 
Leach; W. W., lives in Des Moines, Iowa; Grace, married F. M. Wishard, 
lives in Redland, Cal., and Catherine, married J. A. Darforth, president of 
the Deer Creek Bank, Deer Creek, 111. To W. F. and Lilian L. (Worden) 
Engle five children have been born, as follows: Grace, a student of Illi- 
nois Womans College, married to W. B. Rayburn, lives in Cleveland, Ohio; 
Worden, died in infancy; Mary Elizabeth, a graduate of Smith College, 
married B. A. Danforth, lives at Deer Creek, 111. ; Esther A., a graduate 
of the University of Illinois, a teacher in the Bloomington High School, 
lives at home; and Ruth L., a graduate of Oberlin College, lives at home 
and teaches in the high school at Lakewood, Ohio. 

Mr. Engle has been a progressive business man of Bloomington and is 
highly esteemed throughout McLean County. 

W ' 


History of McLean County 439 

Vinton E. Howell, now deceased, was a veteran of the Civil War and 
a substantial citizen of Bloomington and McLean County for many years. 
He was born on a farm in Licking County, Ohio, Nov. 30, 1840, the son 
of George P. and Matilda (Preston) Howell. 

The Howell family came to Illinois in a covered wagon in 1852 and 
settled in the Price neighborhood in McLean County, where they lived in 
a log cabin. In 1855 they removed to Bloomington and located on what 
was then the main street. Here George P. Howell farmed on land entered 
from the government until the time of his death. There were ten children 
in the Howell family, all of whom are now deceased except Hattie Wirt, 
who resides at Battle Creek, Mich. 

Vinton Howell spent his boyhood on his father's farm and attended 
the district schools. When he was 17 years old he enlisted for service 
during the Civil War, and served throughout the war in Company C, 33rd 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He took part in the siege of Vicksburg; the 
captain of his company was Captain Lewis, later editor of the Pantagraph 
of Bloomington. After his return from the war, Mr. Howell engaged in 
general farming in Anchor Township on a large scale with his brothers, 
Samuel P. and Alfred Howell. He became an extensive stockman and was 
also a grain farmer. He drained his land and improved it with good farm 
buildings. In 1875, Mr. Howell moved to Arrowsmith, where he engaged 
in shipping stock exclusively. 

Mr. Howell served as sheriff of McLean County from 1886 to 1890 and 
as a member of the United States Senate in 1893. He later purchased 
a home at 1606 N. Main Street, in Bloomington, and organized the Corn 
Belt Bank, and was elected president and director, which office he held 
until the time of his death, April 5, 1911. 

On Nov. 11, 1873, Mr. Howell was united in marriage with Miss 
Frances A. Hill, and to this union three children were born, as follows: 
Sarah M., married Guy L. Garrison, lives at Bloomington; Frank A., fur- 
ther mention of whom is made below ; and Louie, married Dr. E. B. Hart, 
a sketch of whom appears in this history. 

Frank A. Howell was born in 1880 and received his education in the 
public and high schools of Bloomington, and was also graduated from 
Illinois State Normal University. At the age of 18 years he entered the 
employ of the Corn Belt Bank at Bloomington, where he remained until 
1917, at which time he retired. He is still a director in the bank and 
owns 400 acres of good farm land in McLean County and a large ranch 

440 History of McLean County 

in South Dakota. Mr. Howell is a 32d degree Mason and a member of the 
Elks Lodge. 

Frank A. Howell was married on Dec. 5, 1911, to Miss Olive A. Lucas, 
a native of Bloomington, who died during the influenza epidemic on Dec. 
4, 1918. 

Vinton E. Howell was a Republican. He was one of the dependable 
and excellent citizens of McLean County and the Howell family is repre- 
sentative of the best citizenship of the community. 

Palmer Q. Moore, who now lives retired at Normal, has been a well 
known farmer and stockman of McLean County for many years. He was 
born in Green County, Wis., Oct. 31, 1861, and is a son of J. W. and Sarah 
J. (Armstrong) Moore. 

J. W. Moore was born in Tennessee and was a son of Francis Moore, 
who moved to Illinois when his son was nine years of age. Francis Moore 
followed farming during his life and died in Livingston County, 111. His 
son, J. W. Moore, was a minister of the Christian Church and was among 
the pioneer preachers of Iowa, having gone there in 1863. Before that 
time he had lived in Woodford County, 111., and in Wisconsin. He died 
in 1904 at the age of 68 years and his wife, a native of Bowling Green, 
Ind., died in 1900 at the age of 75 years. They were the parents of five 
children, two of whom are now living, Palmer Q., the subject of this 
sketch; and Mrs. A. A. Kelley, who lives at Troy Mills, Iowa. 

Palmer Q. Moore was reared in Iowa and attended the public and high 
schools at Clarksville, Iowa. He lived on his father's farm until 1885, at 
which time he moved to McLean County, where he rented land for 10 
years. Mr. Moore then purchased a farm in Normal Township, which 
he improved, and for many years he was a widely known farmer and 
stockman. He has lived retired in Normal since December, 1906. He 
owns 485 acres of land in Linn County, Iowa, and is a stockholder in 
three grain elevators, located at Kerrick, 111., Alburnett, Iowa, and La- 
fayette, Iowa. Since retiring from his farm, Mr. Moore has spent four 
years in Iowa, where his sons and sons-in-law farm Mr. Moore's land. 

On March 8, 1885, Mr. Moore was united in marriage with Miss 
Hattie Hall, a native of McLean County, and the daughter of Isaac and 
Martha J. Hall, the former a native of McLean County, and the latter of 



History of McLean County 441 

Kentucky. The Hall family originally came from Kentucky. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Moore have been born four children, as follows: Etta, married Wil- 
liam Wilson, lives in Linn County, Iowa, and has three children, Joseph, 
Franklin and Leonard; Elmer N., married Orlou Stick, lives in Linn County, 
Iowa, and has three children, Vera Marie, Bernetta Lucille and Franklin 
Nolan ; Ina J., married Charles Griffin, lives in Linn County, Iowa, and has 
two children, Zetta Bernice and Cecile Leota; and Harriet Marie, married 
Clarence Stahley, lives in Linn County, Iowa, and has one child, Betty 

Mr. Moore is identified with the Republican party in politics and has 
served as school trustee, health officer and as alderman of Normal. He is 
a member of the Christian Church and is a substantial and highly re- 
spected citizen of McLean County. 

John Feicht, now living retired, has been a prominent business man 
of Bloomington for many years. He was born in Bloomington, Dec. 25, 
1865, and is the son of Christ and Lydia (Farney) Feicht. 

Christ Feicht was a native of Studgard, Germany, and came to the 
United States in 1840 when he was about 18 years of age. He located at 
Peoria, 111., and later went to Mackinaw, 111., where he managed a dis- 
tillery. Mr. Feicht died in 1910, and his wife died Oct. 31, 1901. They 
were members of the German Lutheran Church. Mr. and Mrs. Feicht 
were the parents of six children, as follows: Frederick, died in 1920; 
Anna, married Frank Wagoner, lives at Alton, 111. ; Augusta, died in in- 
fancy; John, the subject of this sketch; Kate, married Edward Kingston, 
lives at Bloomington; and Flora, married E. J. Leirman, lives at 

John Feicht spent his boyhood days in Bloomington and attended the 
public schools there. His first employment was that of a tobacco stripper 
at $1.25 per week, and at the age of 13 years he learned the blacksmith 
trade which he followed for two years. His next employment was in a 
pool room where he received $1.00 per day, working daily from 7 a. m. 
until 11 p. m. When he was a young man Mr. Feicht engaged in the saloon 
business which he continued until prohibition came into effect. He now 
lives retired at 914 South Madison Street, Bloomington. 

442 History of McLean County 

In 1890 Mr. Feicht was married to Miss Hulda Harting, a native of 
Bloomington, and the daughter of Charles and Minnie (Feicke) Harting. 
Mr. and Mrs. Harting were natives of Germany and came to the United 
States in 1870, locating at Bloomington, where Mr. Harting worked at his 
trade as blacksmith. He and his wife are now deceased. To John and 
Hulda (Harting) Feicht four children were were born, as follows: Mabel, 
died in 1910, at the age of 19 years; Charles A., cashier of the Cudahy 
Meat plant in Bloomington, married Miss Tjaden, and they have one son, 
Howard Eugene; John Elmer, died in infancy; and Earl L., born in 1907, 
a student in high school. 

Mr. Feicht is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Elks Lodge, Red 
Men, and the Loyal Order of Moose. He is a dependable citizen and is 
well known in McLean County. 

Charles Thomas, who is successfully engaged in farming and stock 
raising on his farm of 151 acres in Randolph Township, was born in Ger- 
many, April 25, 1851, the son of Carl and Louise Thomas. 

Carl Thomas and his wife were natives of Germany and came to 
America in 1871, locating on land in McLean County. Mr. Thomas fol- 
lowed general farming during his life and died at Bloomington, Jan. 6, 
1895, and his wife died March 9, 1894. They were the parents of the 
following children: Charles, the subject of this sketch; Costa, deceased; 
and John, a retired farmer, lives on Madison Street, Bloomington. 

Charles Thomas was reared and educated in Germany and at the age 
of 20 years enlisted in the German army and served in France for two 
years. While he was in service his parents moved to the United States 
and shortly after his discharge from the army he came to this country 
and located at Chicago for one year. He then came to McLean County 
and worked on a farm near Hudson for one year, after which he returned 
to Chicago. He returned to McLean County, however, and rented a farm, 
which he operated for 11 years. Mr. Thomas now owns a well-improved 
farm in Randolph Township, but resides at 507 Moulton Street, 

In 1877 Mr. Thomas was married to Miss Wilhelmina Reanke in Chi- 
cago, and to this union the following children were born: Bertha, born 
Jan. 2, 1878, married Albert Shultz, lives in McLean County; Amelia, 

History of McLean County 443 

born Dec. 5, 1879, married Ernest Koos, lives in McLean County ; Ida, born 
March 2, 1881, married Carl Bruckman; Herman, a farmer, lives in Mc- 
Lean County; Martha, born Dec. 26, 1885, deceased; Clara, born May 7, 
1889, married Louis Grese, lives in McLean County; Emma, born March 
21, 1892, married John Graf, a farmer, lives in McLean County; and Carl, 
born June 29, 1894, lives at home. 

Mr. Thomas and his family are members of the German Lutheran 
Church at Bloomington and they are reliable and substantial members of 
the community. 

Robert K. Leech, now deceased, was for many years a well known 
and highly respected citizen of Bloomington. He was born at McKees- 
port, Allegheny County, Pa., in 1831, and was a son of James and Dorcas 
Leech. In 1859 Robert K. Leech went to Leon, Iowa, and worked at his 
trade, which was that of a brick mason. He was married at Leon and 
two years later came to Bloomington, 111., where he worked at his trade 
and contracting until the time of his death in July, 1911. He was a vet- 
eran of the Civil War, having enlisted in Bloomington in 1862, and became 
a member of Company F, 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He took part 
in a number of battles, including the siege of Vicksburg, and after serv- 
ing three years was honorably discharged at Fort Morgan. 

Mr. Leech was married to Miss Elizabeth Mikel, a daughter of Will- 
iam and Catherine (Warren) Mikel, of J^eon, Iowa, and to that union 
were born the following children: Lenna, married James R. Clark, and 
they had one son, an attorney, who is now located at Springfield, 111. ; 
Norma F., married W. D. Master, a retired farmer, and they have one 
daughter, Edith L., who is a teacher in the Petersburg, 111., high school; 
John S., who served for a number of years in the government printing 
office at Washingfton, D. C, and later was sent to Manila in the govern- 
ment printing service, where he remained 13 years, and is now in the 
employ of J. P. Morgan & Co., in New York City, as credit man; James 
William, was a printer and died at San Antonio, Texas, leaving one 
daughter who resides in Colorado ; Katie Florence, who died in Blooming- 
ton at the age of 22 years. 

The Leech family are all members of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Leech 
resides at 607 East Jefferson Street, Bloomington. She is recognized as 


444 History of McLean County 

one of the honored pioneer women of McLean County, and the Leech 
family is highly respected. 

Clair O. Hamilton, state bank examiner, is a prominent citizen of 
Bloomington and McLean County. He was born in Bloomington, Dec. 5, 
1883, and is the son of F. Y. and Emma (Cone) Hamilton. 

F. Y. Hamilton, a native of Richwood, Ohio, was a well-known attor- 
ney of Bloomington for many years. He died Nov. 29, 1922, and his wife, 
who was born in Adrian, Mich., died March 9, 1888. They were the par- 
ents of two children: Clair 0., the subject of this sketch; and Ethel, 
who died Oct. 29, 1920. She was the wife of Senator Frank 0. Hanson. 

Clair 0. Hamilton received his education in the public and high 
school's of Bloomington, after which he was graduated from the Virginia 
Military Institute at Lexington, Va. He is also a graduate of the Rose 
Polytechnic Institute of Terre Haute, Ind. After completing his school 
work, Mr. Hamilton followed his profession as electrical engineer for a 
number of years, being located at Houston, Texas, and at Greenville, Miss. 
He later owned a tailoring establishment and men's furnishing business 
in Bloomington and Normal, which he conducted successfully for 11 years. 
At the present time Mr. Hamilton is serving in the capacity of state bank 
examiner and lives at 711 East Empire Street, Bloomington. 

On Aug. 12, 1901, Mr. Hamilton was united in marriage with Miss 
Nell Kimler, a native of LeRoy, 111., and the daughter of Frank and Jane 
(Pemberton) Kimler, natives <*f Ohio and Indiana, respectively. Mr. 
Kimler died in 1917 and his wife died the year previous. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Hamilton four children have been born: Frank K., Jack R., Margaret 
R., and Nancy Jane Hamilton. 

Mr. Hamilton is a Republican, a member of the Presbyterian Church, 
and belongs to the Masonic Blue Lodge and Consistory. He is a nephew 
of former Governor John Marshal Hamilton of Illinois. 

Franklin Young Hamilton was born Dec. 27, 1852, at Richwood, 
Ohio, in a one and a half story log house of two rooms, which is still stand 
ing. His parents were Samuel and Nancy Hamilton. He was the fourth 
son of a family of nine children. The family came to Illinois when he was 

History of McLean County 445 

a year old, locating first on a farm near Varna, whence in 1866 they re- 
moved to Wenona. He obtained his education, first at the Illinois Wes- 
leyan University, afterwards at Adrian College, Michigan, the latter con- 
ferring upon him the college degree. 

,In 1882, upon his graduation, he came to Bloomington, and in 1884 
entered the law office of Rowell & Hamilton as a student; the latter, his 
brother, was afterward a state senator, lieutenant governor and gov- 
ernor. Upon the completion of his law studies, he was admitted to the 
bar of the state, and in 1886-88 he served as a member of the state legis- 
lature, making there an honorable record. At the conclusion of this term 
of service he entered upon the active practice of his profession, and so 
continued until his death at Brokaw Hospital, Nov. 24, 1922. 

As a lawyer, he was recognized as one of the leaders, was for 29 
years the local counsel of what is now the Big Four railroad system. He 
always enjoyed the confidence of all, a good practice, and was frequently 
engaged in important cases; besides, what he preferred, an extensive 
office practice, in which his superior business ability and judgment, and 
his thorough knowledge of the law gave him "success. 

He was prominent and faithful in civic matters. He was a member 
of Bloomington Lodge No. 43 of Masons, and of the Bloomington Con- 
sistory; a charter member of the College Alumni and Longfellow Clubs, 
and for many years an Odd Fellow; until his later years was active in 
the church, and in the Y. M. C. A. For many years he was a trustee of 
Brokaw Hospital, as such a representative of Abraham Brokaw, his client, 
and rendered great service in procuring the latter's bequest to that char- 
ity, as well as in other important respects. 

He was thrice married, first to Emma J. Cone, at Morenci, Mich., Oct. 
3, 1875. For a time the husband and wife taught school at Sheridan, 
Mich. They had two children, Claire 0. Hamilton and Ethel Hamilton, 
the latter married Frank 0. Hanson, and died in 1920. In 1890 Mr. 
Hamilton married Olive Hudson, and in 1916 Mrs. Anna Morrison, each 
of whom preceded him into the great beyond. Two sisters, Mrs. E. H. 
Miller of Chicago and Mrs. 0. C. Allen survive him. 

He was affable, a true friend, a gentleman, always ready to serve 
others. He left behind him the kindly recollections of his brethren at 
the bar, and of a wide circle of friends who feel a personal loss and be- 
reavement in his death. One by one, the third generation of Blooming- 
ton's lawyers is passing away; the present one of younger men taking 

446 History of McLean County 

their places, who will be stimulated, encouraged and have much to learn 
from the examples of faithfulness, energy and devotion to the high ideals 
of Mr. Hamilton. 

Frank H. Blose, alderman from the Third Ward of Bloomington, is 
a well known and successful business man of McLean County. He was 
born on a farm in Warren County, Ohio, May 16, 1860, the son of John 
W. and Jacqueline (Hayner) Blose. 

John W. Blose and his wife were natives of Virginia and the parents 
of two children, as follows: Frank H., the subject of this sketch; and 
Jennie, married Charles H. Smith, a farmer, lives in Warren County, 
Ohio. Mr,. Blose died Dec. 31, 1923, at the age of 90 years. His wife 
died in April, 1909. 

Frank H. Blose was reared on his father's farm in Ohio and attended 
the public schools. When he was 19 years old he began his apprentice- 
ship as blacksmith and three years later worked at his trade in Spring- 
boro, Ohio, a short distance from his home. In October, 1881, he came 
to Illinois and located at Delana, now Glenavon, where he remained until 
1888, at which time he moved to Bloomington. Mr. Blose has been in 
business at Bloomington during all these years; his shop located at 413 
N. Center Street, until 1892 when he moved to his present location at 218 
S. Center Street. When Mr. Blose embarked in the horse shoeing business 
in Bloomington there were probably as many shops as there are now 
garages. He has been privileged to witness the closing of the farrier 
shops one by one until now but a few remain. 

On April 5, 1883, Mr. Blose was united in marriage with Miss Ora B. 
Batson, a daughter of Alexander A. and Mary C. (Babbitt) Batson, na- 
tives of Indiana. The Batson family came to Illinois in 1880 and settled 
near Glenavon. Mr. Batson served throughout the Civil War and is now 
deceased. His widow resides with her daughter, Mrs. Blose. To Frank 
H. and Ora B. (Batson) Blose four children have been born, as follows: 
Gertrude, married Harry H. Craig, a member of the Chicago police force; 
Annie M., married Frank Baker, lives in Bloomington; George H., died in 
infancy ; and Edgar L., has been an electrician for the Bloomington Light 
Company for 16 years, is married and has one child, Marian Barbara. He 
is a veteran of the World War. 

History of McLean County 447 

Frank H. Blose was elected alderman from the Third Ward in 1923 
and he is chairman of the finance committee and also of the judiciary and 
light companies. Since the death of Mayor Shorthose, Jan. 4, 1924, Mr. 
Blose has been acting mayor of Bloomington. He is a member of the 
Masonic Lodge No. 43 and has filled all the offices of his lodge, including 
master from 1896 to 1897. He is one of the oldest past masters of the 
Bloomingtn Lodge and is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. 
Mr. Blose and his family are members of the Christian Church and he is 
a highly respected citizen of his community. 

Walsh & Sons, dealers in stone and granite, are among the enter- 
prising and successful business men of Bloomington. The firm was 
organized by Michael Walsh many years ago and is now conducted by 
his sons. He was a native of Ireland, born in 1857. Following his mar- 
riage, Mr. Walsh came to the United States and settled at Bloomington, 
where he was employed by the Chicago & Alton Railroad as a stone cutter. 
After several years he became a contracting stone mason and his first 
piece of work was the residence of Reverend Weldon on North Main 
Street. The stone yard was located at the corner of Center and Market 
streets, the present site of the Will building. The present location is at 
600 West Olive Street. Mr. Walsh died in 1909. 

In 1856 Michael Walsh was married to Miss Anna Shaunessy, a 
native of Ireland, and to this union the following children were born: 
Michael E., a member of the firm; Mary, married William Young, lives in 
Bloomington ; Anna, married James Cavello, lives in Bloomington ; Thomas 
M., a veteran of the World war, also a partner in the business; Julia, 
married Fred Gerth, lives in Bloomington; Lawrence P., a partner in the 
business; Margaret, married Lawrence Wagoner; Eleanor, married 
Thomas Salmon ; John J., a partner in the business, and Edward, serving 
in the United States Navy, and is now stationed in Washington. Mrs. 
Michael Walsh died in 1914. 

Walsh & Sons, as the firm is still known, is among the leading business 
enterprises of Bloomington. They handle stones of all kinds and domes- 
tic and imported granites. Since the death of their father in 1909, the 
Walsh boys have invested a considerable amount in the business and 
enlarged it extensively. They have about $50,000 invested and do 
$120,000 worth of business annually. 

448 History of McLean County 

Archie M. Augustine, nationally known horticulturist and nursery- 
man, is a resident of Normal and a member of one of McLean County's 
prominent pioneer families. He was born at Pontiac, 111., Nov. 10, 1869, 
and is the son of Capt. Henry and Margaret (Gapen) Augustine, a com- 
plete sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this history. 

Mr. Augustine was educated in the public schools and the Illinois 
State Normal University. After completing his education he entered 
the nursery business at Normal with his father, who was already widely 
known through his horticultural pursuits. In September, 1890, Mr. 
Augustine left Normal and went to Buenos Aires, Argentine Republic, 
where he established a nursery. After four years of work and study 
there he returned to Normal. In 1905 he went to Michigan, where he 
established an orchard in the northern part of the state. Two years 
later, however, he became interested in the banking business at West 
Branch, Mich., where he remained two years. Mr. Augustine has in- 
herited his ability along horticultural lines from his father and has even 
advanced further in the new methods. He has devoted practically his 
entire life to this work and the name of Augustine is closely associated 
with horticulture throughout the country, as well as in many countries 

On Sept. 14, 1895, Mr. Augustine was united in marriage with Miss 
Belle Cothran Marsh, a native of Bloomington, born Sept. 5, 1873, and 
the daughter of Dr. Benjamin P. and Mary F. (Ayres) Marsh. The 
Marsh family came to Illinois in 1850 from New York and in 1866 Dr. 
Marsh located in Bloomington, where he served as the first high school 
principal in 1867. He later engaged in the practice of medicine there, 
which he followed successfully until the time of his death in 1911. He 
was 71 years of age. Dr. Marsh was a well educated man, being a grad- 
uate of Knox College, Galesburg, 111., Rush Medical College and Hanna- 
man Medical College, Chicago. He always took a keen interest in state 
and religious affairs and for many years was among the influential citi- 
zens of Illinois. Mary F. (Ayres) Marsh was a prominent woman of her 
day. She conducted the first kindergarten school in Bloomington and for 
a number of years had charge of the Girls' Industrial School. Mrs. Marsh 
held many club offices, was Regent of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution, and was an active church member. She died in 1912 at the 
age of 69 years. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Marsh, two 


?6x^vy sflc<*> 

History of McLean County 449 

of whom are now living, Mrs. Archie M. Augustine, and Mrs. Catherine 
Risley, lives at Albany, N. Y. 

Mrs. Archie M. Augustine is a graduate of Bloomington High School 
and the Illinois Wesleyan Conservatory of Music. She is a member of 
the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and is regent of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution at the present time. To Archie M. and Belle Coth- 
ran (Marsh) Augustine two children have been born, as follows: Frances 
Marsh, the wife of Herman Schimpff, lives in Peoria, 111., and they have 
one child, Mary Frances; and Areta M., a student at Illinois State Normal 

Mr. Augustine has served as president and secretary of the Central 
Illinois Horticulture Society, as secretary of the Illinois State Horticulture 
Society for nine years, and for 10 years had charge of the Illinois Horti- 
cultural Society Experimental Stations in Illinois. He was elected presi- 
dent of this society but resigned that office soon after his election. Mr. 
Augustine also served as secretary two years and president two years 
of the Illinois State Nurserymen's Association. 

Mr. Augustine is a Republican, a member of the Presbyterian Church, 
and belongs to the Masonic Lodge and all its branches. He served as a 
director of the Illinois Children's Home Finding Society for 10 years, 
taking the position left vacant by his father's death. Mr. Augustine also 
belongs to the Rotary Club of Bloomington. He is a man of high civic 
ideals, capable and practical in all phases of his work, and a citizen of 
whom his community is justly proud. 

Capt. Henry Augustine, deceased, was of German ancestry. He was 
born in Lancaster County, Pa., July 25, 1840, the son of John A. and Anna 
(Miller) Augustine. John A. Augustine was a native of Wurtemburg, 
Germany, and came to America as a boy, locating in Lancaster County, 
Pa., where he married and reared a family of ten children. In 1857 he 
brought his family to Canton, 111., and here his death occurred in 1870, 
his wife having died four years previous. 

Henry Augustine was 17 years old when the family removed to 
Illinois. He received his education in his native state and engaged in 
farming until the outbreak of the Civil War. He enlisted on Aug. 3, 1861, 
in Company A, 55th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as company sergeant. On 


450 History of McLean County 

Aug. 1, 1862, he was commissioned second lieutenant and on Oct. 2nd of 
the same year was promoted to first lieutenant. June 27, 1864, he was 
commissioned captain and commanded Company A until the following 
Nov. 8 when he resigned, and upon his return recruited Company I, 51st 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as captain. In this capacity he continued until 
November, 1865, when he was mustered out of service and honorably 
discharged, having participated in 32 hard fought battles, and been 
under the enemy's fire for 196 days. During six months of his service 
he was judge-advocate of a military court. His promotion from rank to 
rank speaks for itself, and certainly in the Union ranks there was no more 
earnest, courageous and helpful soldier. Two of his brothers, Michael 
and J. M. Augustine fell and were buried by the captain on the battlefield, 
and the remains were brought home by him and interred at Canton, 111., 
after the war. The former, who was a member of the 103rd Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry was killed at Missionary Ridge, while the latter, who 
was lieutenant-colonel of the 55th Illinois Infantry regiment lost his life 
at Kenesaw Mountain. 

After the war Capt. Augustine engaged in the drug business in Can- 
ton, 111., until 1868, when owing to failing health he engaged in farming 
and the nursery business at Pontiac, 111. In 1876 he came to Normal and 
established the present nursery business on a small scale, which at present 
is one of the best known enterprises of the kind in the State of Illinois. 
A regular and important part of the business in the past has been its 
foreign trade, having had business connections with France, England, 
Germany, Scotland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Captain 
Augustine introduced many new and valuable fruits and to him is 
ascribed the Sudduth, one of the most valuable varieties known of the 
pear, as well as the introduction in the west of the Snyder blackberry. He 
was superintendent of the Illinois State Fruit Exhibit at the Columbia 
Exposition in Chicago, in 1893, and the creditable showing of Illinois fruit 
at that time was due to his unceasing efforts and pride in local conditions. 
He served as president of the National Nurserymen's Association and 
Illinois State Horticultural Society, and contributed to the literature and 
general undertakings of both these organizations. 

To the enviable reputation as soldier and horticulturalist must be 
added that of philanthropist, the latter perhaps the most unceasing and 
tireless of the efforts of Captain Augustine. For more than 35 years he 
devoted time and money to the noble cause of the Children's Home and 

History of McLean County 451 

Aid Society, an organization which has accomplished untold good for the 
homeless waifs of society. He was an active member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church and served as president of the Illinois State Sunday 
School Association, and the McLean County Sunday School Association. 
For 14 years he was Sunday School superintendent at the Soldiers' and 
Orphans' Home at Normal. He was also identified with the Grand Army 
of the Republic, being a member of the W. T. Sherman Post, Bloomington. 

The marriage of Captain Augustine and Margaret E. Gapen occurred 
March 17, 1869, and of this union there is a son, Archie M., a sketch of 
whom appears in these volumes. Mrs. Henry Augustine was born in Penn- 
sylvania and educated in Fulton County, 111., where she removed with her 
parents in early life, they being Bachriach and Margaret (McGee) Gapen. 

On March 8, 1913, Capt. Augustine was killed by a Chicago & Alton 
passenger train in front of his office, which is located at the Illinois Cen- 
tral and Chicago & Alton Crossing. Mrs. Augustine is now living in Los 
Angeles, Calif. 

Captain Augustine was one of the solid, substantial and highly es- 
teemed men of McLean County and his life was an expression of rare 
ability, noble purpose, well directed generosity and faith in the goodness 
and possibility of his fellowmen. 

John J. Stack, now living retired at Bloomington, is a member of a 
well known pioneer family of McLean County. He was born in Blooming- 
ton, June 5, 1868, and is a son of Patrick and Helen (Kinsella) Stack. 

Patrick Stack was a native of Ireland, born March 17, 1831, and was 
one of a family of eight children, all of whom are deceased. In the spring 
of 1848 Patrick Stack and his brother Edward came to New Orleans in a 
sailing vessel that took over eight weeks to make the voyage. When 
they landed in New Orleans there was an epidemic of cholera there and 
they both hired out as deck hands and worked on the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi rivers. Later they worked at their trades as stone and brick masons 
in St. Louis for one year. From there they went to Lexington, Ky. Three 
years later they heard of a building boom in Chicago and went there for 
two months and then went to Bloomington. This was in 1852. They were 
employed by the Illinois Central Railroad Company as stone masons. At 
this time the railroad was being built from Chicago to Clinton, 111., and 

452 History of McLean County 

the work lasted for several years. Mr. Stack then became interested in 
paving and was instrumental in having the first brick pavement laid in 
Bloomington. The bricks were made by James McGregory and the brick 
yard was located southeast of Bloomington. He was first appointed fore- 
man under the street commissioner and after three years was elected 
commissioner. Later Mr. Stack became interested in the proposed water 
works for Bloomington and he located a well north of the cemetery, which 
was 65 feet in depth and 40 feet in diameter. This well furnished all the 
water used in Bloomington until 20 years ago. Mr. Stack was also identi- 
fied with the sewage system in Bloomington and most of the pipes fur- 
nished for this purpose were eight feet in diameter. All of the brick 
used was purchased from the McGregor & Hafter Brick Company. 

Patrick Stack owned 480 acres of land near Bellflower, 111., and a 
great deal of property in Bloomington. He was a Republican and a mem- 
ber of the Holy Trinity Church. Mr. Stack was married in Lexington, 
Ky., to Miss Helen Kinsella, a daughter of Patrick and Helen (Burnes) 
Kinsella. To this union the following children were born: Edward, de- 
ceased; William, deceased; Robert, deceased; John J., the subject of this 
sketch; Elizabeth, married Harry Barnett, lives in Chicago; Mary, mar- 
ried Patrick Fitzgerald, lives in Bloomington; and Kate, married John 
Killian, lives near Bloomington. Mr. Stack died Jan. 20, 1902, and his 
wife died Nov. 24, 1900. 

John J. Stack spent his boyhood in Bloomington and received his edu- 
cation in the public schools there. When he was a young man he engaged 
in general farming and stock raising and for 30 years owned and oper- 
ated a fine stock farm near Bellflower, 111. He also engaged in the grain 
business extensively and met with marked success in all his business un- 
dertakings. He owns 1,000 acres of land near Bloomington, which he now 
rents. Mr. Stack resides in a fine brick home on Oakland Avenue, in 
Bloomington, which was formerly the home of J. D. Robertson. 

On Jan. 30, 1901, Mr. Stack was united in marriage with Miss Nora 
Tobin, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Trainor) Tobin. Mr. Tobin 
was born in Ireland and came to the United States in 1867, locating in 
New York for a short time, after which he came to McLean, 111. He later 
purchased a farm near Bellflower, where he and his wife now reside. 
They are the parents of the following children : Nellie, deceased ; Cather- 
ine, the widow of John Malone ; Mrs. Stack ; Simon, deceased ; Sarah, de- 
ceased; and Belle, married Frank Yeagle. To John J. and Nora (Tobin) 

History of McLean County 453 

Stack 11 children have been born, as follows: Harry P, born Jan. 20, 
1902, a graduate of Brown Business College of Bloomington, now editor of 
a newspaper in Des Moines, Iowa ; Joseph, born Oct. 31, 1903, employed in 
the First National Bank of Bloomington; John 0., born Sept. 7, 1905, died 
Nov. 6, 1917; William W., born April 23, 1908; Walter E., born April 9, 
1910; Nora Mary, born Oct. 19, 1911; James Edward, born May 12, 1914; 
Margaret E., born Feb. 12, 1916; Dorothy F., born Oct. 4, 1919; Robert G., 
born April 27, 1921, is the fourth Robert in the Stack family; and Helen 
M., born Sept. 8, 1923. 

John J. Stack is a member of the Holy Trinity Church and belongs to 
the Elks Lodge and the Knights of Columbus. He is a representative and 
dependable citizen of McLean County and has many friends and ac- 

Arthur Rowland Williams, director of the School of Commerce of 
Illinois State Normal University, is a leading citizen of McLean County. 
He was born at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., May 28, 1877, and is the son of 
Dr. Wesley and Harriet (Newell) Williams. 

The first of the Williams family to come to the western hemisphere 
was Richard Williams, a captain in the British Navy. After retiring 
from his service, he came to this country in 1809 and located in Balti- 
more, Md. Dr. Wesley Williams, father of the subject of this sketch, was 
born at Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in 1849. His wife, also a native of 
Canada, was born at Owen Sound, Ontario, in 1854. Dr. Williams has 
long been a prominent man in his profession as dentist and is a well known 
figure in the Democratic party of Michigan. He and his wife reside at 
Sault Ste. Marie. They have two children: Arthur Rowland, and Dr. 
Harold Keyes Williams, a successful dentist of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 

Arthur Rowland Williams was reared at Sault Ste. Marie, and after 
finishing high school there entered the Armour Institute in Chicago. 
He is also a graduate of Kenyon College, at Gambier, Ohio, the Univer- 
sity of Michigan, and the University of Chicago. Mr. Williams' first 
occupation in life was that of editor of the Weekly Times at Sault Ste. 
Marie. His positions since that time have been as purchasing agent for 
the Talbot Construction Company of Sault Ste. Marie; teacher at St. 
John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wis. ; vice-principal of Deerfield 

454 History of McLean County 

Shields High School, Highland Park, 111., and director of the School of 
Commerce of Illinois State Normal University. Mr. Williams is also head 
of the A. R. Williams & Company, public accountants of Bloomington. 

On Sept. 2, 1913, Mr. Williams was united in marriage with Miss 
Gertrude Ann Nevins, a native of Highland Park, 111., and the daughter 
of Edward and Eleanor (Murphy) Nevins, the former a native of Ireland 
and the latter of Watertown, N. Y. Mr. Nevins lives retired at Highland 
Park, 111. His wife died in 1913. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams two children 
have been born: Arthur Richard and James David, both students at 
Metcalf School, Illinois State Normal University. 

Mr. Williams is a Democrat and a member of the Episcopal church. 
His wife belongs to the Catholic Church. He is a member of the Phi 
Delta Theta fraternity, Michigan Alpha Chapter at Ann Arbor, Mich., and 
a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, honorary scholarship fraternity of 
Kenyon College. Mr. Williams belongs to the Rotary Club and the Maple- 
wood Country Club of Bloomington. The Williams family is one of the 
highly esteemed families of the community. 

John J. Rolofson, deceased, was a widely known and successful auc- 
tioneer. He was born in Wilson Township, Dewitt County, 111., Oct. 1, 
1862, a son of John B. Rolofson. John B. Rolofson was born in White 
County, 111., June 23, 1829, and was a son of Moses Rolofson, a native of 
Kentucky, born in 1802. He was a pioneer of Illinois and a son of Law- 
rence Rolofson, who was a native of Pennsylvania and was a cooper by 
trade. Lawrence Rolofson removed from his native state to Virginia 
and later went to Kentucky. He spent his last days in Illinois where he 
lived to be a very old man. Moses Rolofson lived in Kentucky until he 
was about 25 years of age. In 1823 he came to Illinois and settled in 
White County where he was engaged in farming until 1834 when he re- 
moved to DeWitt County, remaining there one year. He then removed 
to McLean County where he purchased land, but after remaining a few 
years he removed to Iowa and later went to Missouri where he died in 
1885 at the age of 83 years. He married Ruth McClellan, a native of 
South Carolina, born in 1800. She was a daughter of James McClellan, 
a native of South Carolina and of Irish descent, who served in the Revo- 
lutionary war. Moses Rolofson and his wife were the parents of twelve 

History of McLean County 455 

children, ten of whom grew to maturity, as follows: Mary, Margaret C, 
John B., Jane, Lucinda, Robert, Arminda, Elizabeth, Adeline and Lucy. 

John B. Rolofson was about six years of age when his parents settled 
in DeWitt County. He received his education in the old log school houses 
which were conducted on the subscription plan. When he was 14 years 
of age he began working out by the month and so continued for ten years. 
He then bought a farm and added more land later, becoming one of the 
prosperous farmers of DeWitt County. He was married Nov. 23, 1851, to 
Miss Mary Bird, a native of White County, 111., born in 1831. To them 
were born six children: James M., Mrs. Laura Swearingen, Belle, Mrs. 
Martha E. Thorp, John J., the subject of this sketch, and Charles S. John 
B. Rolofson and his wife were members of the Christian Church and he 
was a Republican and took a prominent part in the affairs of his com- 

John J. Rolofson spent his boyhood on his father's farm in Wilson 
Township, DeWitt County, and attended the district schools. In 1884 he 
engaged in farming for himself on rented land in Wapella Township. He 
was thus occupied for six years and in 1890 he removed to Wapella where 
he engaged in the hardware and farm implement business. He built up 
an extensive trade in that business and also bought and sold horses from 
1892 to 1907. On June 30, 1897, he was appointed postmaster of Wa- 
pella, serving three terms in that capacity. For many years Mr. Rolof- 
son was engaged in auctioneering and was well known and successful in 
this field of activity. He conducted sales over a large scope of terri- 
tory and his services were in constant demand. He died suddenly Dec. 
9, 1923. 

On Feb. 27, 1884, John J. Rolofson was united in marriage with Miss 
Erne M. Wilson, a native of Wapella Township, DeWitt County, born Dec. 
26, 1862, and a daughter of John and Nancy A. (Funk) Wilson, early set- 
tlers in DeWitt County. Nancy A. Funk Wilson was a daughter of Jesse 
Funk, a prominent early day citizen of McLean County. S. A. Wilson, a 
brother of Mrs. Rolofson, lives in Los Angeles, Calif., and a half-brother, 
Wesley E. Thompson, lives at Gardner, Mont. John Wilson died in 1865 
and his wife died in 1882. To John J. and Effie M. (Wilson) Rolofson, 
were born two children, one of whom died in infancy, and J. J. Rolofson, 
who is engaged in the practice of law at Clinton, 111. He was educated 
in the Clinton High School, Wesleyan University of Illinois and Yale 
University, and was admitted to the Illinois bar in June, 1908. Mrs. Effie 

456 History of McLean County 

M. (Wilson) Rolofson died Sept. 30, 1910. She was a lifelong member of 
the Methodist Church and a member of the Rathbim Sisters. She was a 
woman known for her many excellent qualities and loved and respected 
by the entire community. For 13 years she served as assistant postmas- 
ter at Wapella. 

Mr. Rolofson was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, a 32d degree Mason, the Uniformed Rank Knights of Pythias, Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America and the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks. He was a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church and 
served as superintendent of Sunday School for a number of years. 

Thomas Sylvester, well known retired brick contractor of McLean 
County, and vice president of the Normal State Bank at Normal, is a 
native of England. He was born Jan. 26, 1846, the son of Thomas and 
Elizabeth (Simpson) Sylvester. There were six sons in the Sylvester 
family, as follows: William, lives in England; John, lives at Staffordshire, 
England; George, lives at Staffordshire, England; James, deceased; 
Thomas, the subject of this sketch; and Joseph, lives at Champaign, 111. 

Thomas Sylvester received his education in the schools of England, 
attending Widenberry School. After finishing his school work he learned 
the brick mason trade with his uncle, Rodger Witicker, and followed the 
trade in England until 1869, at which time he came to the United States. 
Mr. Sylvester was employed on the farm of Robert Anderson in Park 
County, 111., until May 13, 1869, when he moved to Normal and engaged 
in the brick laying trade. After being in the employ of Blake, Huston and 
Sweeting at Normal for one year, Mr. Sylvester went into the contracting 
business for himself, which he followed until 1916, at which time he re- 
tired. He has built many interesting landmarks in McLean County, among 
them being the Fell Memorial. Mr. Sylvester owns 240 acres of land in 
Clay County, Minn., and 44 acres within the city limits of Normal. He 
has a residence at Bloomington as well as a home on Broadway and Ver- 
non Avenue at Normal, and he also owns a large amount of the business 
section of Normal. 

On Oct. 27, 1871, Mr. Sylvester was married to Miss Martha Ellen 
Dunseth, a native of Money Creek Township, McLean County, born Jan. 
25, 1854. To this union 12 children were born, as follows: Frank, lives 

History of McLean County 457 

at Webster City, la. ; Thomas, lives in Iowa ; John, lives at Normal ; Wil- 
liam, lives at Normal; Nettie, married Edward Sheilds, lives at Normal; 
Fannie Burk Pepple, lives at Normal ; Anna, married James Lyda, lives at 
Bloomington ; Louise, married Curtis Keyes, lives at Bloomington ; Charles, 
lives at Normal; Neil, lives at Normal; Elizabeth, deceased; and Minnie, 
deceased, was the wife of Clifton Green. After the death of his first wife 
on Nov. 3, 1916, Mr. Sylvester was married on Oct. 29, 1921, to Miss Jane 
Shirley, a native of Johnson County, Mo., born March 6, 1854. 

In politics Mr. Sylvester is a Democrat and he served as a member 
of the city council of Normal for 11 years. He is a member of the Chris- 
tian Church and laid the brick for that church at Normal, and he belongs 
to the Masonic lodge. Mr. Sylvester is well known in the county, where 
he has a reputation for good citizenship and progressive ideas. 

Albert F. Henderson, now living retired in Bloomington, is among 
the substantial and well known citizens of McLean County. He was born 
in Canada, near Montreal, July 15, 1841. At the age of 19 years he went 
to California and followed gold mining for two years after which he re- 
turned to Canada. In 1864 he came to McLean County and located at 
Towanda, where he engaged in teaching for eight years. He then pur- 
chased a farm of 240 acres near Colfax, 111., which he operated success- 
fully until the time of his retirement in 1910. The farm is now owned 
by his son Roy Henderson. 

In 1873 Mr. Henderson was married to Miss Rachel Fincham, a 
daughter of Robert and Martha Fincham, natives of Virginia and early 
settlers of Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Henderson the following children 
were born: Lillian, lives in Chicago; Pearl, engaged in the real estate 
business in Mississippi ; Dr. Francis, a well known eye, ear and nose 
specialist of Bloomington with offices in the Griesheim Building; Archie, 
lives at Peoria, 111. ; Ernest, State Attorney, lives in Woodford County, 
111. ; Dr. George, a successful dentist of Bloomington, also located in the 
Griesheim Building; Addie, married Leonard Funk, lives at LaCrosse, 
Wis., and Roy, who farms the home place near Towanda, 111. Mrs. Hen- 
derson died in 1897. 

Mr. Henderson served as supervisor of Colfax for five years. He and 
his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and he belongs 

458 History of McLean County 

to the Masonic lodge. The Henderson family is well known and highly 
esteemed in McLean County. 

Arthur H. Tobias, manager of the Bloomington Creamery Company, 
is among the prominent business men of McLean County. He was born 
at Congerville, Woodford County, 111., June 23, 1888, and is the son of 
James F. and Rosine (Strubhar) Tobias, a sketch of whom appears else- 
where in this volume. 

Arthur H. Tobias spent his early life on a farm near Congerville, 111., 
and was educated in the grade schools there and attended Normal High 
School. He later lived on a farm near Lexington, 111., and for the past 12 
years has resided at Bloomington, where he is associated in business with 
the Bloomington Creamery Company. 

On Dec. 21, 1910, Mr. Tobias was united in marriage with Miss Ida 
M. Lehman, a native of Flanagan, 111., and the daughter of Joseph A. and 
Martha A. (Unzicker) Lehman, a sketch of whom also appears in this 
volume. To Mr. and Mrs. Tobias have been born three children: Bernice 
Eleanor, born Oct. 1, 1914; Louise Frances, born Feb. 1, 1917; and Joseph 
Franklin, born Oct. 12, 1920. 

In politics Mr. Tobias is identified with the Republican party. He 
and his family hold membership in the Mennonite Church and he is a 
member of the Masonic Lodge, being a 32d degree Mason. He also be- 
longs to the Rotary Club. Mr. Tobias has been successful and is con- 
sidered one of Bloomington's efficient citizens. 

James F. Tobias was born in Walnut Township, Pickaway County, 
Ohio, Aug. 26, 1860. His father died shortly after his birth and he was 
reared by an uncle, Dan Zinser of Washington, 111. At the age of 13 
years he made his home with Michael Foster of Deer Creek, 111. At the 
age of 18 years Mr. Tobias worked out by the month in the vicinity of 
Congerville, 111., where he became acquainted with Rosine Strubhar and 
was married to her on Dec. 13, 1883. 

Mr. Tobias and Rosine Tobias spent the early days of their life on 
the farm, later opening a hardware and implement business at Conger- 
ville, 111., which they operated for 10 years, after which they purchased 

History of McLean County 459 

a farm south of Congerville, where they resided two years. They pur- 
chased a farm near Lexington, where they resided until the death of 
James F. Tobias, which occurred April 8, 1910. 

Rosine (Strubhar) Tobias was born in Danvers Township, McLean 
County, Feb. 2, 1863, where she lived to maturity.' To Mr. and Mrs. 
James F. Tobias were born three children: Arthur H., a sketch of whom 
appears in this volume ; Effie May and Ida, who both died in infancy. 
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Tobias resided with her son, Ar- 
thur H., until her death, Feb. 8, 1918, at Bloomington. 

Valentine Strubhar was born in Alsace Lorraine, France, Sept. 26, 
1817. At the age of 17 years he immigrated to America and settled in 
Ohio, where he resided for several years. He then moved to Illinois, 
where he met Barbara Guingerich, whom he married in the year 1845. 
He was of the old Mennonite faith and was one of the founders of the 
first Mennonite churches erected in Illinois. One of these churches, lo- 
cated three miles north of Danvers, is still standing. Mr. Strubhar died 
Nov. 30, 1861, at the age of 64 years. 

Barbara (Guingerich) Strubhar was born in Alsace Lorraine, France, 
March 19, 1827. Her people immigrated to America in 1829, and settled 
in Ohio, later moving to Danvers, 111., where she resided until 1898, then 
moving to Piper City, 111., where she lived with her daughter until the 
time of her death, which occurred March 26, 1923, at the age of 95 years. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Strubhar seven children were born: John, 
lives at Danvers, 111. ; Magdalene Salzman, lived at Danvers, 111., and now 
deceased; Emil E., lives in California; Peter A., lives at Murray, Iowa; 
Mrs. John Schaff er, lived at Deer Creek, 111., now deceased ; Mrs. Elizabeth 
Ehresman, lives at Piper City, 111. ; and Mrs. Rosine Tobias, deceased. 

Joseph A. Lehmann, a well known and successful farmer of McLean 
County, living at Chenoa, was born five miles north of Bloomington, April 
2, 1863, the son of Peter and Magdalena (Stalter) Lehmann. 

Peter Lehmann was a native of Alsace Loraine, France, and his wife 
was born at Bavaria, Germany. At an early date Mr. Lehmann came 

460 History of McLean County 

to this country and located on a farm near Danvers, 111., later removing 
to a farm near Bloomington. In 1866 he went to Livingston County, 111., 
and lived on a farm near Gridley and later lived near Flanagan, where 
he died. There were six children in the Lehmann family: Jacobina Ver- 
cler, lives at Meadows, 111.; Peter R., born Dec ; 3, 1861, died Jan. 4, 1901; 
Joseph A., the subject of this sketch ; Ella Rich, lives at Deer Creek, 111. ; 
Elizabeth Zehr, lives at Graymont, 111. ; and Dr. C. W., lives at Flanagan, 111. 

Joseph A. Lehmann was reared and educated in Livingston County, 
111., and has always been a farmer. On Feb. 3, 1887, he was united in mar- 
riage at Danvers with Miss Martha Amelia Unzicker, a native of Lexing- 
ton, 111., and the daughter of Joseph and Magdalena (Smucker) Unzicker, 
the former a native of Canada and the latter of France. Mr. Unzicker 
died Oct. 28, 1909, and his wife died July 23, 1906. To Joseph A. and 
Martha Amelia (Unzicker) Lehmann the following chidren were born: 
Emma M. Augspurger, born March 11, 1888; Martha Amelia Schrock, 
born Jan. 11, 1890; Ida M. Tobias, born Jan. 8, 1892; Pearl E. Zimmer- 
man, born June 18, 1893; Joseph P., born Dec. 21, 1894; Matilda E. Por- 
zelius, born Oct. 10, 1898 ; and Magdalena I. Zehr, born April 27, 1904. 

Mr. Lehmann is a Republican and he and his family are members of 
the Mennonite Church. 

Louis W. Dauel, who is successfully engaged in the reaLestate and 
insurance business in Bloomington, is a native of Germany. He was 
born in Hanover, Dec. 11, 1861, and is a son of Frederick and Dorothy 
(Gathmann) Dauel. 

Frederick Dauel and his wife died when Louis W., the subject of 
this sketch, was a young boy. They were the parents of the following 
children: Mary, died at the age of 22 years; Frederick, died in infancy; 
Louise, died in 1919, was the wife of August Wichmann; Henry, lives in 
Los Angeles, Calif. ; F. W., lives in St. Paul, Minn. ; and Louis W., the 
subject of this sketch. 

When Louis W. Dauel was 13 years old he and his brother came to 
the United States and lived with their older brother, a farmer in Mc- 
Lean County. After two years he went to Iowa and worked on a farm, 
and five years later Mr. Dauel returned to Illinois. He engaged in the 
hardware and implement business for a number of years and met with 

History of McLean County 461 

success. In 1899 he came to Bloomington and became deputy sheriff of 
McLean County, which office he held for two years. He then became 
manager of the Darlington Lumber Co. at Arrowsmith, 111., for three and 
one-half years, then purchased the business of August Boeker in Bloom- 
ington. Mr. Dauel does a large volume of business in real estate, insur- 
ance, and loans and his office is located in the Corn Belt Bank Bldg. He 
owns a fine residence in Bloomington beside other city property. 

On March 27, 1883, Mr. Dauel was married to Miss Emma M. George, 
a daughter of Henry and Anna (Schlueter) George, the former a native 
of Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Dauel seven children have been born, as 
follows: Minnie was the wife of Martin Homuth, died in 1918, leaving 
one child, Dorothy; Louise, married Godfrey Olson, lives in Bloomington, 
and they have three children, Ralph, Robert and Margaret; Henry, an 
engineer on the Chicago & Alton Railroad, had two children, Evelyn and 
Lois; William, lives in Bloomington; Rose married Elmer Peterson who 
died in 1914, Mrs. Peterson now making her home with her parents ; 
Lillian, married Walter Miller, a jeweler in Bloomington; and Alvina, 
married Virgil Bierbower. 

Mr. Dauel was president of the Real Estate Board of Bloomington 
and is the agent for several steamship lines. He is a member of the 
Trinity Lutheran Church and is a substantial and reliable citizen of 

Joseph F. Rice, who is successfully engaged in the real estate business 
in Bloomington, is a member of one of McLean County's pioneer families. 
He was born in Bloomington, March 13, 1872, and is the son of Charles 
and Lena (Schneckloth) Rice. 

Charles Rice was born in Mecklenburg, Schwereing, Germany, Nov. 
22, 1830, and his wife was born at Schonberg, Germany, Aug. 15, 1845. 
In 1849 Mr. Rice came to this country and first settled in LaSalle County, 
and in '1872 located on a farm in Bloomington Township, McLean County, 
where they lived for many years. Mr. Rice became a successful farmer 
and was a bee-keeper also. He served throughout the Civil War in Com- 
pany I, 104th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was highway 
commissioner of Bloomington Township for a number of years, and died 
Feb. 28, 1910. His wife lives in Bloomington with her daughter, Mrs. 

462 History of McLean County 

Lena H. Scott, 504 E. Taylor Street. To Mr. and Mrs. Rice three chil- 
dren were born, as follows: Joseph F., the subject of this sketch; Lena 
H., married P. E. Scott; and Regina E., married Bert H. Castle, lives on 
a farm near Mackinaw, 111. 

Joseph F. Rice spent his boyhood on his father's farm and received 
his education in the Price school and also attended Evergreen City Busi- 
ness College in Bloomington. After engaging in general farming for a 
number of years, Mr. Rice traveled for the patent medicine company of 
Dr. Falone. Five years later he became interested in the gardening busi- 
ness and soon after entered real estate, in which he has been most suc- 

In politics Mr. Rice is identified with the Republican party. He 
served as highway commissioner of Bloomington Township for six years, 
and was elected supervisor one term and re-elected for the second term, 
resigning to take the office of County Treasurer, having been elected in 
November, 1914, which office he held for a term of four years. Mr. Rice 
is unmarried. He is among the substantial and highly esteemed citizens 
of his community. 

David A. BroLeen is a well known and highly esteemed business man 
of Bloomington. He was born in Sweden, Dec. 15, 1873, and is the son 
of Andrew and Mary (Sjoberg) BroLeen, natives of Sweden, and now 
deceased. There were four children in the BroLeen family: John, a 
machinist, lives in Sweden; Hulda, married Mr. Fridell; Frank, a mer- 
chant tailor, lives at Pontiac, 111. ; and D. A., the subject of this sketch. 

D. A. BroLeen was reared and educated in Sweden and came to this 
country at the age of 20 years. He located at Des Moines, Iowa, where he 
worked a't his trade for a number of years, and in 1899 he removed to 
Bloomington, where he entered the employ of George W. DuNah, Since 
1904 Mr. BroLeen has been a member of the firm of BroLeen & DuNah, 
merchant tailors, and they are located at 106 W. Washington Street. 

In 1904, Mr. BroLeen was united in marriage with Miss Hannah Bets- 
berg, a native of Sweden who came to America at the age of three years. 
She is the daughter of Carl G. and Amelia (Goss) Betsberg, who came 
to this country in 1843, and are now deceased. To D. A. and Hanna 

History of McLean County 463 

(Betsberg) BroLee one daughter has been born, Gladys, who will be 
graduated from Bloomington High School in June, 1924. 

Mr. BroLeen and his family are members of the First Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and he is identified with the Masonic Lodge and Con- 
sistory, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Rotary Club, and the 
McLean County Country Club. 

Marion L. McClure, who resides at Bloomington, is a large landowner 
of McLean County and a successful farmer and stockman. He was born 
in McLean County, Dec. 6, 1854, and is the son of Samuel and Delilah 
(Orendorf) McClure. 

Samuel McClure followed farming for a number of years and died 
February, 1858. His widow and five children then moved to Hopedale 
Township. The children were as follows: Aaron B., born Dec. 3, 1848, 
lives retired at Hopedale; Samuel A., lives retired in Kansas; William R., 
died in 1904; Marion L., the subject of this sketch; and Milton B., who 
died in 1921. 

Marion L. McClure received his education in the district schools of 
Hopedale Township and when he was 16 years old his mother died. He 
then went to live with Frank Orendorf until he was 20 years old, at which 
time he rented a farm from his brother, Samuel. Later, however, he 
went to Chicago for a short time and upon his return again engaged in 
general farming and stock raising, and lived on a farm until 1892, at 
which time he moved to Bloomington to educate his children. Mr. Mc- 
Clure owns a fine home facing Franklin Park on Prairie Avenue. 

On Sept. 20, 1877, Mr. McClure was married to Miss Arabelle S. 
Stephenson, a native of Ohio, born Aug. 9, 1857, and the daughter of 
David and Elizabeth (Jewell) Stephenson, natives of Ohio and early set- 
tlers of Illinois, having come here in 1859. Mr. and Mrs. McClure had the 
following children: Lee, cashier of the First National Bank of Dan- 
vers, 111., married Elizabeth Powell, a native of Mexico, Mo., and they 
have two sons, Marion Lee and David Stephenson; Elizabeth D., married 
Hiram Bicket, lives in Chicago and they have four children, Marion Mc- 
Clure, Eleanor, James Hiram, and Jane. Mrs. McClure is a member of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution. Mr. and Mrs. McClure are mem- 

464 History of McLean County 

bers of the Presbyterian Church at Danvers and they are highly respected 
citizens of McLean County. 

Mr. McClure has always been a heavy investor in farm land and now 
he and his wife own over 3,000 acres of land in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and 
Mississippi, and have given each of their children large farms in Iowa and 

Joseph E. Richmond, a prosperous farmer of McLean County, who 
resides at Normal, is the owner of well improved land in Tazewell and 
Logan counties, 111. He was born on a farm in Tazewell County, 111., Feb. 
18, 1857, the son of Wilson and Emily (Fisher) Richmond. 

The Richmond family originally came from Ohio, where Wilson Rich- 
mond was born, Dec. 8, 1815, in Zanesville. In 1830 he came to Illinois 
and engaged in farming and stock raising in Tazewell County, and be- 
came well-to-do. He died June 19, 1908. His wife, who was born in 
Dillon Township, Tazewell County, Jan. 20, 1829, lives in Tazewell County 
and is 95 years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Richmond were the parents of nine 
children, of whom, Joseph E., the subject of this sketch, was the second 
in order of birth. 

Joseph E. Richmond grew up on his father's farm and received his 
education in the district schools of Tazewell County and also attended 
Brown Business College in Jacksonville, 111., from which he was graduated 
in 1876. Two eminent men, William Jennings Bryan and Senator Richard 
Yates, former governor of Illinois, were debators in the Brown's Business 
College, while Mr. Richmond attended that college. After finishing his 
school work, Mr. Richmond engaged in farming and in 1881 purchased 80 
acres of land at $40.00 per acre. Several years later he added 80 more 
acres at $50.00 per acre, and in 1892 he purchased 157 acres for $12,000. 
Mr. Richmond sold hogs for $2.25 per hundred pounds and corn for 16 
cents per bushel. He has lived at Normal since 1901, but still owns his 

Mr. Richmond was married on Feb. 3, 1881, to Miss Emma Britt, a 
native of Logan County, 111., born Sept. 8, 1859, and the daughter of W. S. 
and Sallie (Burt) Britt, the former a native of Bowling Green, Ky., and 
the latter of Tazewell County, 111. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. 





m ^m 






History of McLean County 465 

Richmond, Ollie, born Jan. 1, 1886, and she died Dec. 27, 1918. She was 
a graduate of Normal High School and Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, and 
married Ross A. Nance, June 12, 1917. One child was born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Nance, Ollie Richmond Nance, born Dec. 24, 1918, and she lives with 
her father, a merchant, at Petersburg, 111. 

In politics Mr. Richmond is a Republican and he is a member of the 
Christian Church. He is a man of industry and ability who has made a 
success of his work. 

Rev. Edward V. Young, pastor of the Grace Methodist Episcopal 
Church of Bloomington, is a leading and influential citizen of McLean 
County. He was born at Carlinville, 111., May 31, 1883, and is the son of 
Peter and Augusta (Gunterburg) Young. 

Peter Young was born and reared on a farm in Macoupin County, 
III, near Carlinville. After living on the same farm for 60 years, he 
retired and moved to Carlinville, where he and his wife now reside. They 
are the parents of the following children : William J. and Mrs. Elsie Sen- 
sel, live at Carlinville; Leo and Anita live at Carlinville; Mrs. Nellie Mer- 
raman, lives at Springfield, 111. ; and Rev. Edward V., the subject of this 

Rev. Edward V. Young was reared on his father's farm and received 
his early education in the country grade schools. He is a graduate of 
Blackburn Academy, at Carlinville, Illinois Wesleyan University, and the 
Drew Theological Seminary at Madison, N. J. Reverend Young was only 
20 years of age when he was received into the Illinois Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He has served the following pastorates in 
the Illinois Conference: 1904, Shiloh; 1905-1909, Thayer; 1910, Spring- 
field First Church (assistant pastor); 1911 at school; 1912, Westfield; 
1913-1914, Williamsville ; 1915-1918, Moweaqua; 1919-1922, Shelbyville, 
First. In September, 1923, Reverend Young became pastor of the Grace 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Bloomington. 

On Sept. 6, 1911, Reverend Young was united in marriage at Spring- 
field, 111., with Miss MaryC. Galeener, a native of Warsaw, 111., and the 
daughter of Rev. Chris and Talitha C. (Kilgore) Galeener, the former a 
native of Green County, Ohio, and the latter of Vermilion County, 111.. 


466 History of McLean County 

Reverend and Mrs. Galeener reside at Carrollton, 111. To Reverend and 
Mrs. Young three children have been born, Margaret, Marita and Esther. 
They are eleven, nine and seven years of age, respectively. 

Reverend Young is a Republican and is a member of the Masonic 
Lodge and Bloomington Consistory, the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his family are well 
and favorably known in Bloomington. 

John P. Shields, a substantial citizen of Bloomington, was born in 
Bloomington, 111., Jan. 19, 1881, and is the son of Patrick and Mary 
(Christy) Shields. 

Patrick Shields and his wife were both born in Ireland and after 
their marriage in 1865 came to this country, settling in Bloomington. Mr. 
Shields was employed in the shops of the Chicago & Alton Railroad for 
many years and was crippled when he was struck by a train. His wife 
is deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Shields seven children were born, as follows : 
Catherine, married Robert Litford; Mary; John P., the subject of this 
sketch; Edward, a machinist in the Chicago & Alton Railroad shops; 
James, lives in Bloomington; Frank, also a resident of Bloomington; and 
Elizabeth, married Paul Coogan, lives in Bloomington. 

John P. Shields was reared and educated in Bloomington, where he 
has always lived. On Oct. 20, 1915, he was married to Miss Agnes Kath- 
erine O'Neil, a daughter of Daniel O'Neil, a sketch of whom appears else- 
where in this history. To Mr. and Mrs. Shields two children have been 
born: Elizabeth Pyne, born June 4, 1918; and Joan Katherine, born April 
6, 1920. 

Mr. Shields is a member of the Knights of Columbus and he and his 
family belong to the Catholic Church. 

Julius P. Klemm, secretary of the C. W. Klemm, Incorporated, of 
Bloomington, is an enterprising young business man and a veteran of the 
World War. He was born in Bloomington, Nov. 20, 1890, and is the son of 
C. W. and Emelia (Bender) Klemm. A biographical sketch of C. W. Klemm 
and his family appears elsewhere in this volume. 

History of McLean County 467 

Julius P. Klemm was reared and educated in Blooming-ton and 
started life as an office boy for J. F. Humphreys & Company. He has been 
associated in business with his father for a number of years and has 
charge of the wholesale department. 

On June 1, 1917, Mr. Klemm enlisted for service during the World 
War and received the commission of lieutenant. He received his training 
at Camp Logan, Houston, Texas, and Camp Hancock, Augusta, Ga. He 
was discharged on Nov. 28, 1918. 

Mr. Klemm was married on May 14, 1919, to Miss Carita Wayne, a 
native of Delavan, 111., and the daughter of Edwin M. and Harriet (Bai- 
ley) Wayne, natives of Illinois and residents of Delavan. Mr. and Mrs. 
Klemm have one daughter, Martha Bender, born June 18, 1922. 

In politics Mr. Klemm is identified with the Republican party. He is 
a member of the Unitarian Church and his wife belongs to the Presby- 
terian Church. Mr. Klemm belongs to the Masonic Lodge, and the Phi 
Kappa Psi fraternity of the University of Illinois. He and his wife are 
favorably known in Bloomington and have a wide circle of friends and 

C. W. Klemm, who ranks among the leading and successful business 
men of Illinois, is a pioneer merchant of Bloomington. He was born in 
Haynrode, Germany, and came to this country in 1868, locating at 
Springfield, 111., where he entered the employ of the C. A. Gehrman Com- 
pany. Five years later he came to Bloomington and rented a store room 
two doors east of the intersection of Center and Jefferson Streets. The 
fiftieth anniversary of the business was celebrated on Nov. 7, 1923. 

When Mr. Klemm first opened for business, he economized in expenses 
by sleeping in a room over the store and boarded at what was known as 
the St. Nicholas Hotel, afterwards the Butler. Some of his companions 
of those early days were Lyman Graham, E. H. Aldrich, Jacob Heldman 
and others, later prominent in Bloomington's business life. He bought 
a store building from A. Fitzwilliam and later the store adjacent to Mc- 
Conkey, and rebuilt as fast as possible. In the fire of 1900 the entire 
double store building was destroyed, but within seven months a new 
building was erected, modern in every respect. The wholesale depart- 
ment is located on North Center Street, between Jefferson and Monroe and 

4G8 History of McLean County 

which also shelters the overall and shirt factory. There is a branch in 
operation at Leroy. In 1920 the building to the west of the present retail 
store was taken on a long time lease and is known as the Annex, and in 
1920 the Evans building, adjacent to the east, was purchased and even- 
tually will be added to the store for housing additional departments. 

The Klemm establishment, which compares favorably with the most 
extensive of any in a similar field in central Illinois, employs a force of 
100 people in the retail department and an equal number in the whole- 
sale department. 

Mr. C. W. Klemm was united in marriage with Augusta Seibel, in 
the fall of 1874; she died 12 years later; by this marriage three children 
were born, now living, Mrs. Helen Howard, Mrs. Charles Agle and Carl 
H. Klemm. His second marriage was to Miss Emilia Bender, a native of 
Peoria, 111., who died June 7, 1921. To this union one child was born, 
Julius P., a sketch of whom appears in this volume. 

Carl H. Klemm is at the head of the retail department of the fa- 
ther's business and Julius P. has charge of the wholesale. They have been 
thoroughly impregnated with the same high ideals of commercial in- 
tegrity and acumen and will doubtless worthily maintain the establish- 
ment founded by their parent, and of which he is yet actively a part. 

C. W. Klemm's career is unique in that his whole life is centered 
in his business. He has never thought it necessary to seek relaxation. 
His establishment has been paramount and his whole soul has been cen- 
tered in its welfare. It has been his life work and now at the close of 50 
years he has reason to feel proud of what he has accomplished. Satis- 
fied customers and confidence, due to fair dealing, have been important 
factors in the success of the enterprise. 

Dr. Charles P. Hanson, well known and successful osteopathic phy- 
sician of Bloomington, is a native of McLean County. He was born at 
Gridley, July 31, 1877, and is the son of P. -M. and Amanda (Coon) 

P. M. Hanson and his wife were born in Ohio. They removed to Illi- 
nois in early life, where Mr. Hanson farmed for u number of years. He 
later became a merchant at Fifer, 111., and now resides at Normal, where 
he is engaged in the real estate and insurance business. His wife died 

History of McLean County 469 

Aug. 29, 1923, and is buried at Kappa, 111. To Mr. and Mrs. Hanson 
seven children were born, as follows: Frank Owen, lives in White Place, 
Bloomington ; Dr. Charles P., the subject of this sketch; Herbert, lives 
on Linden Street, Normal ; William Cassel, lives in Washington, D. C. ; 
Archie M., lives at Lincoln, 111. ; Rachel Hodgkinson, lives at Normal ; and 
Dorothy Lynch, lives at Normal. 

Dr. Charles P. Hanson received his education in the public and high 
schools of Gridley and attended Illinois Wesleyan University, and the 
University of Illinois, graduated from the American School of Osteopathy 
at Kirksville, Mo. Before taking up the study of osteopathy, Dr. Hanson 
taught school for several years. He received his degree from the Amer- 
ican School of Osteopathy in June, 1910, and since that time has been 
located in Bloomington, where he has established a large practice. 

On Sept. 28, 1910, Dr. Hanson was united in marriage to Miss Ber- 
nice Bright, a native of Normal, and the daughter of Reuben G. and Sarah 
(Dillon) Bright, natives of Illinois. Mr. Bright resides in Normal and 
his wife is deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Hanson have no children. 

In politics Dr. Hanson is identified with the Republican party. He is 
trustee of the Illinois Osteopathic Association and a charter member and 
first president of the Bloomington Kiwanis Club. He belongs to the Ma- 
sonic Lodge, Bloomington Consistory and Ansar Shrine. Dr. and Mrs. 
Hanson are members of the First Christian Church and are favorably 
known in McLean County. The family residence is at 1011 Broadway, 

John T. Lillard has practiced law in Bloomington since 1874. He 
was born in Boyle County, near Danville, Ky., April 1, 1852, a son of 
Thomas Madison and Mary (Bright) Lillard. His education began under 
private tutors in the home of his parents, then after two years in the col- 
lege preparatory, he entered Centre College, Danville, Ky., where he was 
graduated in 1872 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In June, 1906, 
he received from Illinois Wesleyan University the honorary degree of 
Master of Arts. 

He settled in Bloomington in August, 1873. After some previous 
legal preparation he read law in the office of Williams and Burr, was ad- 
mitted to practice in September, 1874, and has ever since been a member 

470 History of McLean County 

of the Bloomington Bar. His law offices are in the First National Bank 
Building. Since 1890 he has been the senior member of the law firm of 
Lillard and Williams. 

Mr. Lillard was married in 1878 to Miss Sallie Elizabeth Williams, 
daughter of Robert E. Williams, a Bloomington lawyer. She died on 
May 8, 1907. In October, 1908, Mr. Lillard was married to his present 
wife, Sarah Davis Lillard, daughter of Judge David Davis, during his 
lifetime distinguished locally and nationally. 

In 1889 Mr. Lillard with others organized the Union Gas and Elec- 
tric Company, was its vice-president for seven years, and is still its attor- 
ney. In 1891 he organized the Manufactured Ice and Cold Storage Com- 
pany, and was its president for 13 years. He with others organized the 
Kinloch-Bloomington Telephone Company and has ever since been its 
president. In addition to his profession he has other business interests. 

He served as city attorney for two terms. He has been connected 
with the board of trustees of Illinois Wesleyan University, and the Board 
of Trustees of the Bloomington City Library. He and his wife are mem- 
bers of the First Christian Church of Bloomington. 

N. B. Carson, County Recorder of Deeds in McLean County, was born 
near New Lexington, Ohio, May 2, 1856, and is a son of Hiram and Harriet 
(Bell) Carson. 

The Carson family originally came from the North of Ireland and 
were among the early settlers of Virginia. James B. Carson, grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch, was born in Philadelphia, in 1869, and was 
six years old at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed; 
he remembered distinctly of hearing the ringing of the Independence bell. 
He was a woodworker by trade and during the War of 1812 was employed 
by the government in the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Va. He later moved 
his family to Brownsville, Pa., and after a short residence there to Mus- 
kingum County, Ohio, in 1833, where he and his wife spent the remainder 
of their lives. 

Hiram Carson was a glass blower by trade and later engaged in farm- 
ing. He came to Illinois with his family in 1872 and died in 1885. His 
wife died the same year and they are both buried at Bellflower, 111. She 
was the daughter of Nemihah Bell (formerly spelled Beall), a native of 

History of McLean County 471 

Maryland, who was also employed by the government in the arsenal at 
Harper's Ferry, Va., as a gunsmith. He came to Ohio in 1819, settling 
in Muskingum County. 

N. B. Carson was one of two children born to his parents. A brother, 
J. W., died near Burlington, Iowa, several years ago. Mr. Carson was 16 
years of age when his family came to Illinois and settled in McLean 
County. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the pub- 
lic school. He followed farming until he was 25 years of age, and then 
engaged in the mercantile business at Delana, in West Township, McLean 
County. He was later in business at Bellflower and remained there until 
1892 when he came to Bloomington. After being employed as a clerk he 
was elected coroner in 1896 and served in this capacity eight years. In 
1904 he was elected county recorder of deeds and since that time has 
been elected five successive terms. 

Mr. Carson was married on July 4, 1877, to Miss Hattie Eva Brad- 
bury, a native of Indiana, and resident of Bellflower, 111. She was the 
daughter of William T. Bradbury, at one time supervisor of Bellflower 
and prominent in politics. Mrs. Carson died in 1886 and was buried 
in Bellflower. To that marriage four children were born, as follows: 
Charles T., lives in San Diego, Cal. ; Kate, deceased; Pearl, married Rob- 
ert Carson, lives in Portland, Ore. ; and Bessie died in infancy. Mr. Car- 
son was later married to Miss Anna Gibson Hardy, a native of Bellflower, 
and to that union one child was born, Robert H., who lives in Birming- 
ham, Mich. Mrs. Carson died in 1906. 

Mr. Carson is a Republican, a member of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and belongs to the Masonic Lodge. Because of his efficiency 
in office and his interest in public affairs, Mr. Carson is ranked among the 
substantial citizens of McLean County, and he merits the approval in 
which he is held in this community. 

Bertram Adolph Franklin, a well known and successful attorney who 
is engaged in the practice of his profession at Bloomington, is a native 
of McLean County. He was born in Money Creek Township, Sept. 6, 1876, 
the son of Noah and Sarah Catherine (Spawr) Franklin, a sketch of whom 
appears in this history. 

Bertram Adolph Franklin was reared in Lexington and received his 

472 History of McLean County 

education in the public and high schools there. He then attended Mor- 
gan Park Academy near Chicago and was graduated from Eureka Col- 
lege in 1896, after which he attended Harvard University, finishing there 
in 1899. Mr. Franklin was also graduated from Wesleyan Law School 
in 1902, after which he began the practice of law at Lexington. After 
remaining there for three years he came to Bloomington and since 1909 
has been associated with the firm of Oglevee and Franklin. Mr. Franklin 
has been identified with many of the important cases of McLean County 
and is a capable lawyer. 

On Sept. 16, 1909, Mr. Franklin married Miss Mildred Sountag, a 
native of Plainfield, 111. She died Jan. 20, 1923, leaving one child, Mary 
Catherine, who was born Jan. 7, 1911. 

On March 11, 1924, he was married to Elizabeth H. Hoblit, a native of 
Eureka, 111., the widow of E. M. Hoblit and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
John W. Harber, of Bloomington, 111., natives of Woodford County, 111. 
Mrs. Franklin has a daughter by her first marriage, Helen Hoblit, born 
June 6, 1910. 

Mr. Franklin is a member of the Christian Church and belongs to 
the Masonic Lodge and the Elks Lodge. 

Rev. Edward Parrish Brand, D. D., a prominent Baptist minister of 
Normal, who has attained a marked degree of eminence as superintendent 
of the Illinois Baptist State Convention, is a native of West Virginia. He 
was born at Morgantown, Aug. 9, 1854, a son of Alexander W. and Sarah 
(Bussey) Brand, both natives of Virginia where they spent their lives. 

Dr. Brand was educated in the public schools, and a private school in 
Pennsylvania, in the State Normal and State University of West Vir- 
ginia. He then spent two years at Newton Theological Seminary, Massa- 
chusetts. In 1878 he was licensed to preach, being ordained at Zoar, W. 
Va., Oct. 30, 1880. During the time he was attending the university he 
was engaged in preaching at some of the Baptist churches in Monongahela 
County, W. Va. Before he became superintendent of the Baptist State 
Convention he had been pastor of the following churches : Taylortown and 
Sugar Grove, Green County, Pa., 1885-1886; Madisonville (Cincinnati), 
Ohio, 1886-1890; Orion and Alpha, 111., 1890-1891; Atchison, Kan., 1891- 
1892, and Cambridge, Alpha and Orion, 111., 1892-1898. 





History of McLean County 473 

In June, 1906, Ewing College, Illinois, conferred upon him the hon- 
orary degree of Doctor of Divinity and Shurtleff College also in 1915 con- 
ferred upon him the same degree. 

In addition to his work as superintendent he was editor and pub- 
lisher of the Illinois Baptist Annual from 1898 to 1921 and published 
the Illinois Baptist Bulletin from 1909-1922. He has also found time to 
manage a farm near his home. 

Since he began his career as a minister he has always made it a rule 
to preach a sermon every Sabbath day, wherever he may be. As a pulpit 
orator he has attained considerable distinction. He has done work in the 
line of his calling in seven different states of the Union and has traveled 
in 30 states and in foreign countries. Some time ago he let it be known 
that he desired to give up the work of superintendent on Jan. 1, 1922, and 
at the following state convention his request was granted but he was 
unanimously elected to another position for life which involves lighter 
duties, including the writing of a Baptist history to which he is now 
devoting about half of his time. 

In 1885 Dr. Brand was married to Miss Vienna Moore, a daughter of 
Joseph and Sarah Moore of Point Marion, Pa., and to this union were born 
the following children: Sylvia Pearl, born Sept. 22, 1886, died Oct. 18, 
1891 ; Sarah Hazel, born Nov. 26, 1888, married Oswald Carl Yeager, of 
Danville, 111., and they have two children, Elizabeth Ann, born Aug. 8, 
1914, and Philip Edward, born Oct. 2, 1916; Lila Marjorie, born Aug. 9, 
1894, a teacher and Mildred Dorothy, born Feb. 21, 1896, married Lyndon 
Rutledge Wilson and they reside at Tuscon, Ariz. They have one child, 
Margaret Anna, born July 29, 1921. 

Dr. Brand's work in the capacity of superintendent of the Illinois 
Baptist State Convention has been carefully reviewed by President George 
M. Potter of Shurtleff College, in an article which appeared in the Baptist 
Standard, Oct. 18, 1919, under the title of "A Kingdom Highway Builder," 
which in part is as follows : 

''Twenty-one years ago the Illinois Baptist State Convention for the 
third time offered its superintendency of State Convention work to E. P. 
Brand, then pastor of the Alpha and Orion churches in Henry County. 
The work of the convention was in a discouraging situation. The super- 
intendent had resigned, there was no great amount of funds, the churches 
were not enthusiastic about the work and altogether it was a most unin- 
viting offer. Nevertheless it was accepted and for twenty-one years E. P. 

474 History of McLean County 

Brand and the Baptist State Convention of Illinois have been inseparable 
in the minds not only of the Baptists of this one state but also of the 
Baptists of all the states in the central Mississippi valley. 

"With keen foresight and consecrated judgment he has laid out cer- 
tain lines along which Baptist work is to be developed. He has spied 
out the land, has had a vision of the future and with able leadership has 
led the Baptist hosts of the state to catch the vision and to give them- 
selves to the realization of certain definite plans. 

"He has stressed evangelistic campaigns, encouraged churches to 
develop the evangelistic gifts of their pastors, and to employ the most con- 
secrated and efficient evangelists. He has sought to bring to the state 
splendid men to carry on state-wide campaigns and he has always met the 
offers of the national societies by securing abundant funds with which to 
place evangelists in the field and to carry on the campaign for the con- 
version and spiritual development of men and women. It is the writer's 
opinion that Dr. Brand himself must think this phase of his work one of 
the most satisfying and outstanding of his numerous activities. 

"When Doctor Brand undertook the state work the trust funds of the 
convention was small. He set himself resolutely to increase these funds 
and the endowment has gradually grown to such an extent that it is now 
more than $106,000. More than any other leader before him in the state, 
he has succeeded in interesting men and women of means in this phase 
of convention work and many large gifts which are to come in the future 
will no doubt be traced to his influence. In this connection too our super- 
intendent has made the convention the conservator of Baptist property 
and the friend of all needy Baptist churches. The starting of Baptist 
work in some localities and the chance to carry on such work in many 
others has been due to Doctor Brand's help and counsel. 

"When the affairs of Shurtleff College were at their lowest and many 
of its best friends were confused and doubtful about the outcome it was 
Doctor Brand who called for a committee of the board of trustees of 
the institution to meet with the state board of the convention at its ses- 
sion in Bloomington. Out of this meeting came the decision which re- 
sulted in the action of the state convention at its meeting in Elgin in 1911 
whereby Shurtleff College became the college of the state convention 
recognized as the Baptist State College of Illinois. 

"He also brought about the building and establishment of our Baptist 
work at the State University of Illinois. With his active enthusiasm he 

History of McLean County 475 

threw a representative of the state convention into the canvass and 
secured the present grounds lying in a strategic location. A few years 
later the state convention authorized the building of a church edifice and 
pastor's home and Doctor Brand was directed to employ a man to push 
the campaign for funds and a few months later about $40,000 was raised 
and the work immediately begun. 

"No summary of Doctor Brand's work for the Baptists of Illinois can 
be complete, for who can count the days and nights spent on trains, in 
carriages, in automobiles, as he traveled over our boundless prairies? He 
has been a veritable builder of highways for the kingdom of Jesus Christ 
and these five great trunk lines stand out pre-eminent as roads over which 
he has led the Baptist host toward greater things: constant evangelistic 
endeavor ; greater financial strength to the convention ; denominational 
education of our young people; care of them while they are being edu- 
cated at our state university, and strong cooperation between our great 
metropolis and the rest of the state; from these great highways Doctor 
Brand is even now laying out branch lines." 

J. Heber Hudson. — A position that is unique in the community, and 
a work which is peculiarly interesting and beneficial alike to the city and 
county is that of J. H. Hudson, secretary of the Bloomington Association 
of Commerce. This position he has filled and this work he has carried on 
for ten years, a record in that particular line which has no equal in Illi- 
nois and perhaps but few anywhere in the country. 

While Mr. Hudson is not a native of McLean County, he has spent 
most of his life in this state and county. He was a native of Wiscon- 
sin, being born at the town of Milton, in that state, on Jan. 16, 1872. 
He is the son of Lewis B. and Alice A. (Gilbert) Hudson. His parents 
were both natives of the state of New York, but they located in Wis- 
consin after their marriage and remained there until the year 1881, when 
they removed to Bloomington. 

The subject of our sketch was then a lad of only nine years of age, 
and the city to which he then came with his parents has since that time 
been constantly his home. The parents removed to Aurora, 111., in 1892, 
but Heber remained in Bloomington. The father died in Aurora in 1915, 
and the widow lived there for many years afterward, her death occurring 

476 History of McLean County 

early in the year 1924. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Hudson were the parents 
of seven children, but two of whom are now living, they being J. H. Hud- 
son of Bloomington and Mrs. John J. Trauten of Aurora, 111. 

J. H. Hudson attended the public schools of Bloomington, and when it 
came time for him to start out in life on his own hook he secured work as 
a cash and delivery boy for a store. Later he took up the work of a com- 
mercial traveler, being employed by the firm of Seibel Bros., wholesale 
milliners of Bloomington. He was on the road for that firm continuously 
for 28 years and had a very wide circle of business friends throughout 
his territory. 

In 1914, Mr. Hudson was offered the position of secretary of the 
Bloomington Commercial Club, now known as the Association of Com- 
merce. He was chosen from a large field of applicants, and the remark- 
able record he has since made showed the wisdom of the choice. The 
Commercial Club was then a comparatively small organization, with 
meager equipment and practically no working force aside from the secre- 
tary himself. With the accession of Mr. Hudson to the position of execu- 
tive secretary, the club took on new life. Its membership was increased 
several hundred per cent, its offices enlarged and moved to larger quarters 
three times in succession, and new branches of work for the good of the 
city and county were added from year to year. One of the most notable 
achievements of the Association first accomplished was the formation of 
the Better Farming Association, now known as the McLean County Farm 
Bureau, which was sponsored by the Commercial Club and had offices with 
it until the Farm Bureau became so large and robust a child that it left 
its home nest and established permanent headquarters in a building 
which it had leased. This project has done more to cement good relations 
between the city and rural population of the county than anything else. 
It is impossible within the limits of this sketch to outline all the accom- 
plishments of the Association of Commerce in the ten years in which Mr. 
Hudson has been secretary, but these are given more in detail in the 
chapter of the general history in this work which is devoted to that sub- 
ject. The Association of Commerce now occupies two floors of the B. S. 
Green building, and its office force consists of fourteen people. It is a 
general clearing house for community activities. Hundreds of thousands 
of dollars have passed through its office in the last decade all expanded 
in the interest of the general good of the city and county. The success 

History of McLean County 477 

and growth of the Association in this period has been due in large part to 
the universal confidence which its membership has in its secretary. 

In 1894, Mr. Hudson was married to Miss Carrie Scott, a native of 
Bloomington, and a daughter of Benjamin F. Scott. To Mr. and Mrs. Hud- 
son two children have been born, as follows: Gladys, married A. V. 
Padou, lives in Indianapolis ; and Heber S., an attorney of Bloomington. 
He received his education in the public and high schools of Bloomington 
and after attending Illinois Wesleyan University was graduated from 
the University of Michigan in 1922. He has charge of the credit depart- 
ment of the W. H. Roland Co. 

J. H. Hudson is a Republican, a member of the Second Presbyterian 
Church, and belongs to the Masonic Lodge and Consistory of Blooming- 
ton. He belongs to the Rotary Club, the Young Mens' Club, the Bloom- 
ington Club, and the Maplewood Country Club. He is secretary-treasurer 
of Post L of the Travelers' Protective Association, the post having a mem- 
bership of more than 800. He is also a member of Bloomington Council 
of the United Commercial Travelers, the National Union and the Court of 
Honor. Mr. Hudson has served as president of the Illinois Commercial 
Secretaries' Association and is a director of the National Association of 
Commercial Secretaries. He is universally regarded as one of the sub- 
stantial and highly esteemed citizens of McLean County. 

H. K. Hoblit, vice-president of the First National Bank of Blooming- 
ton, is a well-known citizen of McLean County. He was born in Spring- 
field, 111., Aug. 10, 1882, and is a son of A. B. and Anna (Keys) Hoblit. 

A. B. Hoblit was born in Canton, 111., and his wife was born in Spring- 
field, 111. He was a leading banker of Illinois for many years and in 1878 
organized the State Bank of Bloomington. Previous to that time he had 
organized the Farmers National Bank at Pekin, 111., and was cashier there 
for two years. Mr. and Mrs. Hoblit were the parents of two children, as 
follows: Edward, died in 1921, was married to Elizabeth Harbor, who 
lives in Bloomington; and H. K., the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Hoblit 
died when H. K. Hoblit was a child and her husband was later married 
to Sarah Coolidge, who now resides in Bloomington. A. B. Hoblit died 
in June, 1920. 

478 History of McLean County 

H. K. Hoblit was educated in the public schools at Bloomington and 
was engaged as a collector for the State Bank there. After many pro- 
motions he was made president of the bank in 1920 and the following 
year when the bank was consolidated with the First National Bank, Mr. 
Hoblit was made vice-president. He is also vice-president of the First 
Trust & Savings Bank and of the First Title & Savings Company. 

In 1904, Mr. Hoblit was married to Miss Florence Herrick, a native 
of Oak Park, 111., and daughter of D. C. Herrick. Mr. Herrick came to 
Bloomington after the fire here in 1900 and became a leading merchant. 
He sold his business in 1923 and now lives retired in Chicago. One child 
was born to Mr. and Mrs. H. K. Hoblit, Barbara, born in 1913. 

Mr. Hoblit is a Republican and a member of the Masonic Lodge and 
the Consistory of Bloomington. He also belongs to the Elks. Mr. Hoblit 
inherited the banking ability of his grandfather, Isaac Keyes, who or- 
ganized the Farmers National Bank of Springfield, 111. Mr. Keys was 
appointed Provost Marshal under President Lincoln. 

James Frank Gillespie. — Rising by his own efforts from surround- 
ings that called for the best that was in him, James Frank Gillespie has 
established himself in a secure place among the successful attorneys 
of McLean County, to which he came thirty-two years ago. He is a native 
of Virginia, a state which is called the mother of presidents and from 
whose bosom have come scores of men who have achieved renown for 
themselves and reflected credit upon the land of their nativity. Mr. Gil- 
lespie is now right in the prime of his professional career. He is located 
in the county seat, Bloomington, and has offices in the Livingston building. 

Mr. Gillespie was born at White Sulphur Springs, Va., on April 18, 
1869, and is the son of James and Henrietta Laurestine Gillespie. The 
Gillespie family were early settlers of Pennsylvania, but they later moved 
to Virginia, where James Gillespie was born and where the family lived 
their entire lives. The father was a prosperous farmer of the Old Domin- 
ion. He died in April, 1905, and the mother of our subject died on Feb. 
15, 1923. 

James Frank Gillespie was reared and grew to young manhood ir> 
his native state, where he secured his early education. He graduated 
from the normal school at Concord, Va., and then attended and gra<ki- 

History of McLean County 479 

ated from the Central Normal School at Danville, Ind. He started out 
as so many other aspiring youth have done, by earning his first money 
in teaching school, first in the public schools of West Virginia, and after- 
ward became principal of the high school at White Sulphur Springs, Va., 
in the years 1890 and 1891. Meantime he had studied law and was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1892 at Charleston, W. Va. 

Being now equipped to start on his professional career, Mr. Gillespie 
decided to come to the middle west, and he chose McLean county as the 
place to locate and begin the practice of his profession. 

Without fame or prestige of any kind, he began to work faithfully 
in the daily business of his legal practice, and gradually built up for him- 
self the reputation for professional ability and integrity which is his 
today. For a quarter of a century, with only brief intervals when he was 
more energetically engaged in political activities, Mr. Gillespie has stead 
ily forged ahead. He has been successful in every branch of his practice, 
but it is mainly for his ability and conscientious devotion to his clients as 
a trial lawyer that he has made his reputation. Few men in the history of 
the McLean County bar have been so effective in their jury pleadings. 
His reputation in this line is more than local, and he is known throughout 
Central Illinois and the whole state. 

Mr. Gillespie served a term in the Legislature from the Twenty-sixth 
senatorial district, and made a good record in the house. He is now 
(1924) the nominee of the Democratic party for congress for the Seven- 
teenth Illinois congressional district. For many years he has been one 
of the reliable leaders of the Democratic party in the county and state, 
and his speeches in every recent campaign always being effective and 
magnetic. Mr. Gillespie is a student of economic questions from the 
non-partisan standpoint. He is fond of the best literature and is versed 
in the writings of famous men of many ages. Being himself owner of 
farm land* in McLean county, he has always been interested in 
that relates to agriculture and its allied interests. 

Mr. Gillespie was married on June 10, 1896, to Miss Laura Sharp, a 
native of Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, W. Va. She was reared and 
educated in that county, graduating from the public and normal school?, 
and was for some years a teacher in the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. 
Gillespie have one daughter, Lucile, a graduate of the University of 
Chicago, who resides at home. The daughter is a teacher of mathematics 
in the Bloomington high school. 

480 History of McLean County 

Park C. Gillespie, now living retired at Normal, is a substantial citi- 
zen and a member of one of the early prominent pioneer families of 
McLean County. He was born at Bloomington, July 12, 1867, the son of 
Christian J. and Theresa J. (Gregory) Gillespie. 

Christian Gillespie was born April 15, 1842, in Pennsylvania, and 
came to Illinois with his parents when he was five years old. The Gilles- 
pie family settled on a farm in Twin Grove Township and were among 
the earliest settlers of McLean County. Christian Gillespie became the 
owner of 540 acres of land in Chenoa Township where he moved after his 
marriage, which occurred Nov. 10, 1865, and at the time of his death was 
a leading stockman of the county. He died Nov. 23, 1908, and his wife 
died July 13, 1920. Park C. Gillespie, the subject of this sketch, was 
their only child. 

Park C. Gillespie received his education in the district schools and 
started life farming on his father's farm in Chenoa Township. He be- 
came the owner of 540 acres of land in that township and 800 acres in 
Kansas. For many years Mr. Gillespie was a successful farmer and 
was a breeder of registered stock. He was also an extensive grain farmer. 

On Jan. 13, 1893, Mr. Gillespie was married to Miss Freda Reichardt, 
a native of New York City, born Jan. 24, 1873, and the daughter of John 
Reichardt, a native of Germany and an early settler of New York. Mr. 
Reichardt was a Republican and a member of the Lutheran Church. Mrs. 
Gillespie had the following brothers and sisters : Bessie, deceased ; Frank, 
Pontiac, 111., and Dora, lives in New York. To Park C. and Freda 
(Reichardt) Gillespie the following children were born: Herbert, farmer, 
lives in Chenoa Township; Howard, twin brother of Herbert, engaged in 
the insurance business at Chenoa ; Christian J., extensive farmer, a sketch 
of whom appears in these volumes; Grace, deceased; May, deceased; and 
Frank, World War veteran, a sketch of whom also appears in this history. 
Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie have five grandchildren, as follows: Ruth, Bettie 
Jean, Margaret, Hannah, Esther and Herbert. 

Park C. Gillespie is identified with the Republican party in politics 
and served as mayor of Chenoa for a number of years. During his term 
as mayor Mr. Gillespie was instrumental in having the streets of Chenoa 
paved and in the enforcing of prohibition. He was a member of the 
school board for ten years and was a member of the school building com- 


mittee when the new school building was erected. He was elected to the 
Normal City Council in March, 1923, which office he now holds. 


t!P nM 

History of McLean County 481 

Mr. Gillespie is a member of the Methodist Church and belongs to 
the Masonic lodge, and has held every office in the lodge with the excep- 
tion of 33rd degree. He and his wife now live retired at 912 Fell Avenue, 
Normal. Mr. Gillespie is a progressive and public spirited man and 
ranks as one' of the leading citizens of McLean County. 

Clinton B. Hughes, a prominent attorney of Bloomington, was born in 
Clayton County, Iowa, July 16, 1878, the son of Ambrose M. and Ida E. 
(Hale) Hughes. 

Ambrose M. Hughes was born in Lycoming County, Pa., Jan. 9, 1855. 
He taught school in early life and followed farming later in Iowa, where 
his parents had moved in 1860. He purchased land near Strawberry 
Point, Iowa, and now lives at Ames, Iowa. He has figured prominently 
in local affairs and held various public offices. Mr. Hughes married Ida 
E. Hale, who was born in Maine, Dec. 20, 1857. To this union ten chil- 
dren were born, as follows: Clinton B., the subject of this sketch; Eva, 
married R. V. Cooper, lives at San Bernardino, Cal. ; James R., died April 
1, 1923, at Springfield, 111. ; Mrs. Peter Anderson, lives at Ames, Iowa, 
served as a Red Cross nurse during the World War; Harriet, a librarian 
in the Masonic library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ; Cassie Fleihler, lives at Straw- 
berry Point, Iowa; Andrew, a veteran of the World War, having served 
over seas with the Rainbow Division, and he lives at Ames, Iowa; Mrs. 
Mary Baxter, lives at Lovell, Okla. ; Amos, also a veteran of the World 
War, having served with the Third Division, and Howard, lives at Ames, 

Clinton B. Hughes spent his boyhood on his father's farm at Straw- 
berry Point, Iowa, and received his education in the schools there, and 
was graduated from the law department in the University of Iowa in 
1900. He began the practice of law at Strawberry Point in 1901, but the 
following year removed to Arlington, Iowa, where he practiced his pro- 
fession until 1908. He then went to West Union, Iowa, where he was 
elected county attorney in 1911, and was re-elected in 1913 which office 
he held until coming to Bloomington, 111., on Jan. 1, 1916. He has built 
up a splendid practice and ranks as one of the leading lawyers of McLean 
County. His offices are in the Griesheim building. During the World 
War Mr. Hughes was a member of the Council of Defense and chairman 
of Four-Minute speakers. He took an active part in all war work. 


482 History of McLean County 

In March, 1902, Mr. Hughes was married to Miss Anna Opperman, 
a native of Iowa, and a daughter of Henry and Mary (Kramer) Opper- 
man. Mr. Opperman followed farming for many years near Strawberry 
Point, Iowa, and died in March, 1913. His widow resides in Iowa. Mrs. 
Hughes died Jan. 3, 1904, leaving two children, Flora M., born December, 
1902, and Donald M., born in December, 1903. On Dec. 22, 1905, Mr. 
Hughes was married to Miss Magdalena Opperman, a sister of his first 
wife and to this union the following children have been born: Harold A., 
born in November, 1906; Helen, born January, 1908; Theodore, born Au- 
gust, 1909; Paul, born in 1911; Dorothy Jane, born in 1919; and Clinton 
B., born in 1921. The three older children are students at Illinois Wes- 
leyan University, and the others attend school in Bloomington. 

Mr. Hughes served as assistant attorney general of Illinois for two 
years. He is a Republican, a member of the Methodist Church, and be- 
longs to the Masonic bodies and Bloomington Consistory and the Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America. Mr. Hughes is widely and favorably known 
throughout McLean County as a capable lawyer. 

Miss Nellie E. Parham, librarian at the Withers Public Library of 
Bloomington for just a quarter of a century, has been an influential force 
in the city for that time. Miss Parham comes from English ancestry, for 
her grandparents on her father's side were both residents of England 
prior to their coming to America in 1830. Her paternal grandfather and 
grandmother were Thomas and Anna (Bristol) Parham, who had resided 
in Tisbury, England, until their emigration to the United States. Her 
maternal grandparents were Willard and Piany (Roberts) Doolittle, whose 
family came early to America and later made their home in New York. 
Miss Parham's father was Alford Bristol Parham, and he was born in 
northern Indiana. Her mother was Arvilla Berthea Doolitle, who was 
born in New York, but whose family came to northern Indiana when she 
was eight years of age. 

Nellie E. Parham was the eldest of three children, and was born 
near the town of Lima, Ind., now known as Howe. She was graduated 
from high school at Lima, attended a private school one year, and then 
spent one year at the Indiana State Normal. She engaged in teach- 
ing for a period, first at Elkhart, Ind., and later at Beatrice, Nebr. She 

History of McLean County 483 

entered the University of Illinois and took a library course of training 
there in 1897-99. She went first to the library of the University of 
Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, where she remained from May till October, 
when she came to Bloomington. Miss Parham has had charge of the 
Withers Library continuously since coming here. She has filled the posi- 
tion with exceptional ability and general satisfaction to the library board 
and the general public. She has seen many changes in the library, chief 
of which was its expansion to include the use of the entire building, the 
upper story of which was leased and occupied by the Bloomington Club 
when Miss Parham came here. 

Aside from her work as librarian, in which she comes in contact 
with many groups of the citizens, Miss Parham has always been active 
in movements for the betterment of the community in other ways. She 
is an active member of the Woman's Club and of the Four O'Clock His- 
tory Club. She is a director and interested worker for the Day Nursery, 
and many other civic organizations have felt her energetic co-operation. 

Jacob A. Bohrer, well known member of the firm of Bohrer and 

Riley, attorneys of Bloomington, was born on a farm in Normal Town- 
ship, May 15, 1867, the son of Frederick C. and Anna M. (Ziegler) Bohrer. 

Frederick C. Bohrer and his wife were natives of Rhenish, Bavaria, 
and left that country when they were children. Their families settled 
near Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio, and Mr. and Mrs. Bohrer came 
to McLean County in 1855, where they spent the remainder of their lives. 
They are now deceased. There were five children, as follows : George, was 
a prominent farmer of Normal Township for many years, well known 
politician and served as a member of the board of supervisors, and died 
Sept. 30, 1910, at the age of 55 years; Louisa B., married Jacob N. Hilton, 
and died Sept. 23, 1922; Mary E., died July 5, 1917; Louis, farmer, lives in 
Dry Grove Township, and Jacob A., the subject of this sketch. 

Jacob A. Bohrer spent his boyhood days on his father's farm and 
attended the district schools. He entered the high school department at 
Normal University in 1887 and the following fall attended Williams Col- 
lege at Williamstown, Mass., from which he was graduated in 1891. Mr. 
Bohrer was made a member of the Phi Delta Theta and the Phi Beta 
Kappa fraternities during his junior year at college, and after his grad- 

484 History of McLean County 

uation returned to Bloomington and taught Latin, Greek, German and 
American history in the high school department of Normal University 
for four years. While teaching there Mr. Bohrer studied law for two 
years and was graduated from that department in June, 1896, and admit- 
ted to the bar. He was appointed assistant state attorney under R. L. 
Fleming and served five years. In 1901, Mr. Bohrer was appointed post- 
master by President McKinley and re-appointed by the late President 
Roosevelt and ex-President Taft. He served as postmaster of Bloom- 
ington for 121/i years, which is the longest record held by any one in that 
office at Bloomington. Mr. Bohrer served as chairman of the McLean , 
County Republican Central Committee for five years and on Feb. 1, 1914, 
at the expiration of his term, engaged in the practice of law, being 
associated with Governor Fifer. This partnership continued until Feb. 1, 
1922, when Mr. Bohrer became associated with Judge Riley in the prac- 
tice of law. They do a general practice and are widely known throughout 
McLean County. 

Mr. Bohrer was married May 5, 1898, to Miss Florence Fifer, a 
daughter of Governor Fifer, and to this union two children have been 
born, as follows: Joseph Fifer Bohrer, attends the law school at Chicago 
University; and Gertrude Bohrer, a student in the journalism depart- 
ment of the University of Wisconsin. Miss Bohrer attended Dana Hall 
at Wellesley, Mass., and her brother is a graduate of Chicago University. 

In politics Mr. Bohrer has always been identified with the Republican 
party and he is a member of the Unitarian Church. He is a reliable and 
excellent citizen of Bloomington. 

Hal Marot Stone, attorney of Bloomington, is well known through- 
out the community as a successful man in his profession. He was born 
in Mason County, 111., July 31, 1877, the son of Claudius L. and Mary 
Gertrude (Marot) Stone. 

Claudius L. Stone was a native of Menard County, 111., born Sept. 18, 
1845, and the son of William A. Stone, who came to Illinois in 1832. 
William A. Stone was a captain during the Mexican war and died at the 
age of 87 years. He was a native of Kentucky and lived in Pennsylvania 
before moving to Illinois. Mary Gertrude (Marot) Stone was a native of 
Ohio and came to Illinois with her parents when she was a young girl. 

History of McLean County 485 

The Marot family originally came from France and settled in Pennsyl- 
vania and August Marot, Mrs. Stone's father, was among the first of the 
Pennsylvania Quakers to settle in Illinois. Mrs. Stone died in 1884 from 
injuries received when a cyclone struck this section of Illinois. A child, 
Inez, was killed in her mother's arms during the cyclone. Hal Marot 
Stone, the subject of this sketch, has three brothers: William E., attor- 
ney, Mason County, 111. ; Arthur L., traveling salesman, lives at Peoria, 
111., and Clyde E., supreme court judge of Illinois, lives at Peoria. 

Hal Marot Stone spent his boyhood in Mason County and attended 
the district schools and high school. He then taught school for six years, 
four years of which were spent in Menard County. Mr. Stone attended 
summer school at Valparaiso and the state university at Champaign, 111., 
being graduated from the law department there in 1903. He then came 
to Bloomington and began the practice of law alone, but soon became asso- 
ciated with Everett W. Ogelvee. The firm was known as Stone and 
Ogelvee until 1909 when Mr. Stone was appointed Master of Chancery 
and the firm was then known as Stone, Ogelvee and Franklin. Later Mr. 
Stone withdrew and practiced alone for about a year and in 1915 the 
firm of Stone and Dick was organized with offices in the Peoples Bank 
Building. On Aug. 1, 1923, Mr. Dick withdrew to become vice-president 
of the Peoples Bank and his place was taken by C. C. Taylor, the firm 
name now being Stone and Taylor. It is one of the well known law firms 
of Bloomington and has an extensive business in McLean County. 

On Nov. 11, 1903, Mr. Stone married Miss Mildred Ann Burrill, a 
daughter of Thomas J. Burrill, a well known educator of Illinois. Mrs. 
Stone died Jan. 27, 1913, leaving one child, Mary Helen, at home. Mr. 
Stone was married on Jan. 24, 1916, to Miss Olive May Mellon, a native 
of Peoria. To this union three children have been born, as follows: Betty 
Jane, Hal, Jr., and Suzanne. 

Mr. Stone has been an instructor in the law department of Illinois 
Wesleyan University since 1906 and now teaches equity, real property, 
contracts and evidence. He served as president of the Bloomington Club 
from 1914 to 1916 and he is a member of the Bloomington Country Club. 
Mr. Stone is a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma, the Phi Delta Phi and the 
Theta Kappa Nu fraternities. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church 
and belongs to the Masonic Lodge No. 43, Bloomington Lodge, and is 
both a York and Scottish Rite Mason. He belongs to the Jesse Fell Lodge 
Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America No. 110, and is a 

486 History of McLean County 

member of the State Bar Association and three country clubs. During 
the World war Mr. Stone served as county food administrator. He is a 
progressive man in his profession, a citizen of great public spirit, and a 
man known to his community for his high ideals of civic pride and 
public service. 

D. G. Fitzgerrell, president of the First National Bank of Normal, 
is among the leading and influential citizens of McLean County. He was 
born in Jefferson County, 111., near Mt. Vernon, Feb. 10, 1868, and is a 
son of James Jackson and Sarah M. (Whitlow) Fitzgerrell. 

James Jackson Fitzgerrell was a native of Virginia and was reared 
and educated in Gibson County, Indiana. He came to Illinois at a very 
early date, about 1839, when he was 25 years of age. He settled in Jeffer- 
son County where he purchased land from the government. Mr. Fitz- 
gerrell was a stockman and also followed farming. He was a Democrat 
and took a keen interest in politics but never held office. He died in 
1889 at the age of 75 years. His wife, a native of Franklin County, 111., 
died in 1903. They are both buried near an extinct town, Fitzgerrell, in 
Jefferson County. D. G. Fitzgerrell, the subject of this sketch, is one 
of a family of eight children. 

Mr. Fitzgerrell was reared on his father's farm in Jefferson County 
and attended the district school. At the age of 16 years he attended 
Ewing College, at Ewing, III, from which he was graduated in 1886. 
After engaging in the hardware business for a time at Marion, III, he 
removed to Mt. Vernon, III, where he served as assistant postmaster 
during President Cleveland's second administration. After traveling a 
short time he engaged in the banking business at Ewing, and came to 
Normal on Oct. 1, 1916. Mr. Fitzgerrell has served as president of the 
First National Bank of Normal since 1916. 

On May 25, 1887, Mr. Fitzgerrell was united in marriage with Miss 
Pauline Goddard, a native of Marion, 111. They have three children: 
M. G., associated in business with Swift & Company in St. Louis; J. A., 
associated with the New York Life Insurance Company at Peoria, 111., 
and Katherine, a junior at Illinois State Normal University. 

Mr. Fitzgerrell is a Past Grand Master of the grand lodge of the 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, having served two and one-half years. 


History of McLean County 487 

He is also a 33rd degree Mason. He is a Democrat. Mr. Fitzgerrell and 
his family hold membership in the First Methodist Church of Normal 
and are widely known in McLean County. 

The First National Bank of Normal was organized Nov. 1, 1893, 
with John C. Aldrich, as president. Colonel Smith was vice president 
until his death, and was then succeeded by his son, Dudley Smith, Jr. 
The present officers are: D. G. Fitzgerrell, president; Dudley C. Smith, 
Jr., vice president; William H. Odell, cashier, and T. H. Keys, assistant 
cashier. The directors are: D. G. Fitzgerrell, Dudley C. Smith, Jr., 0. L. 
Manchester, David Davis and W. L. McKnight. The present resources 
are about $750,000.00, and the assets have almost doubled since Mr. Fitz- 
gerrell became president. The present bank building was designed and 
built by Mr. Fitzgerrell in 1918, and is modern throughout. It is located 
at the corners of Broadway and North Street, and is one of the leading 
banking institutions in McLean County. 

O. A. Kyle, well known veterinary surgeon of Bloomington and pro- 
prietor of a veterinary hospital at 406 North Center Street, is a native of 
Illinois. He was born in Madison County, 111., Nov. 1, 1874, the son of 
William F. and Mary (MacLilley) Kyle. 

William F. Kyle was a native of Ohio and an early settler of Madison 
County, 111., where his wife was born. They both died in Madison County. 
Mr. Kyle was a veterinary surgeon for many years and was well known. 
To William F. and Mary (MacLilley) Kyle 10 children were born, eight 
of whom are now living, as follows: William C, veterinary surgeon at 
Pocahontas, 111. ; N. W., veterinary surgeon at Colfax, 111. ; A. H., veter- 
inary surgeon at Highland, 111. ; M. H., veterinary surgeon at Chatsworth, 
111.; O. A., the subject of this sketch; J. C, engaged in the real estate 
business at Colfax, 111. ; Emma, married Eugene Forester, lives at Bloom- 
ington, and Bertha, married Ed Herrin, now deceased. A. H. Kyle has a 
son, Wilbur Kyle, who is also a veterinary surgeon, and another son, 
Raymond, who practices dentistry at Breeze, 111. 

O. A. Kyle spent his boyhood days in Madison County, III, and at- 
tended the public and high schools at Highland. He then entered Chicago 
Veterinary College, from which he was graduated in 1901. Dr. Kyle 
practiced with his brother, N. W. Kyle, for two years at Colfax, 111., and 

488 History of McLean County 

came to Bloomington in 1902, and became associated with Dr. Alverson. 
After two years he engaged in business for himself and in 1914 opened 
a veterinary hospital at Bloomington. Dr. Kyle has facilities for treat- 
ing all kinds of domestic animals and his hospital is among the finest 
of its kind in the state. He also carries on a general practice besides his 
hospital work. 

Dr. Kyle is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is an able 
man in his profession and a substantial citizen of McLean County. 

David Felmley, president of the Illinois State Normal University, was 
born in Somerset County, New Jersey, April 24, 1857. He was bereft of 
his father when but a child of three and his early education was thus left 
to his mother. When David was eleven his mother decided to move to 
Illinois and settled in Pike County, where his boyhood and much of his 
youth was spent. 

At an early age, David Felmley evinced a decided intellectual ten- 
dency, and his mother had the foresight to keep him liberally supplied 
with books and instructive periodical literature. As he approached man- 
hood, David became an insatiate reader, and had the ability to digest and 
assimilate much of the information and facts which he had so eagerly 
devoured. An employee of his mother, who was somewhat of a naturalist, 
persuaded the boy to stress natural science, especially in the direction 
of botany, while his fondness for mathematics was encouraged by an early 

In 1872 young Felmley realized his ambition to enter college and 
became a student at Blackburn University at Carlinville, remaining there 
three years. He went from that budding institution to the University of 
Michigan, completing in three years the four-year college course. After 
leaving college in 1881 he taught a country school at Virden, then for ten 
years he served at Carrollton as principal of the high school and as super- 
intendent of schools. He received a call to the chair of mathematics at the 
Illinois State Normal University at Normal in 1890. Ten years of faithful 
and efficient work in that department brought him into such favorable 
repute with the State Board of Education that in August, 1900, he was 
elected president to succeed Dr. Arnold Tompkins, who had been selected 
as a successor of President John W. Cook, who, had resigned the year 



History of McLean County 489 

before to accept the presidency of the new Northern Illinois State Normal 
School at DeKalb. 

In the twenty-four years of the incumbency of President Felmley he 
has enlarged the scope of the institution and increased its usefulness. The 
school year has been lengthened to twelve months. The regular faculty 
has grown from 21 teachers to 82. The normal department has been 
raised to the grade of a teachers' college ; the annual enrollment of normal 
students increased from 800 to more than 4000. New departments have 
been established for the training of special teachers and supervisors of 
Art, Music, Manual Training, Home Economics, Agriculture, Commercial 
Branches and Physical Education. The State Normal University now 
ranks among the half-dozen leading teachers' colleges of the United States. 

President Felmley has through his long career been an active figure 
upon the platform. He has delivered hundreds of educational addresses 
in Illinois and other states on commencement occasions and before assem- 
blages of teachers and friends of education. He has also been a frequent 
contributor to educational periodicals. He has been one of the authors 
of the State Course of Study, having written the mathematical curriculum 
in that publication. 

President Felmley received the degree of LL. D. from the University 
of Illinois in 1905, and L. H. D. from Blackburn University in 1906. 
He is a charter member of the College Alumni Club of Bloomington, and 
of the Rotary Club. He is in point of attendance the oldest member of 
the Illinois State Teachers' Association and of the Illinois Schoolmasters' 
Club. He served upon the Illinois Educational Commission in 1911-1913. 
He is now a member of the National Educational Council and was elected 
the first president of the National Council of Normal School Presidents. 

President Felmley is temperamentally a progressive. He would sum- 
mon before the bar of reason every theory, doctrine, practice, or institu- 
tion in state or church, in school or in society, and oblige it to slough off 
its outworn and useless features. Accordingly he has been a consistent 
and persistent advocate of spelling reform, of tax reform, of the substitu- 
tion of studies in natural science and social science for the dead languages 
in the high school curriculum. He has always taken a keen interest in 
economic questions, and in former years made many addresses upon poli- 
tical and economic questions. Here, as in other fields, he showed his 
sympathy with the progressive tendencies of the time. 

President Felmley is a man of broad intellectual interests and of 

490 History of McLean County 

extensive acquirements in almost every field of knowledge. He enjoys a 
reputation for accurate scholarship and for that reason was chosen a 
member of the board of pronunciation for the Standard Dictionary. He 
has served for 15 years as one of the forty members of the Simplified 
Spelling Board. 

In 1887 Mr. Felmley was married to Miss Auta Stout of Carrollton, 111. 
Their three children are Mrs. A. B. Meek of Carrollton, 111., Mildred Felm- 
ley, a teacher in the Bloomington High School, and John B. Felmley, a 
construction engineer, now employed at Ottawa, 111. 

Julius Schausten, owner and proprietor of the Bloomington Soft 
Water Laundry, is one of the well known and highly respected business 
men of this city. He was born in Bloomington, Aug. 1, 1864, and is the 
son of William and Phillipine (Schlegel) Schausten. 

William Schausten was a native of Germany and came to America 
when a young man, locating in Chicago. Several years later he removed 
to Bloomington and from there went to Clintonville, 111. Later, however, 
he returned to Bloomington, where he spent the remainder of his life. 
Mr. Schausten served throughout the Civil war with an Illinois company. 
Mr. and Mrs. Schausten, now deceased, were the parents of the following 
children: Julius, the subject of this sketch; Ida, the widow of J. P. 
Hooley, lives in Bloomington; Herman, a plumber, lives in Bloomington, 
married Ella Irwin, and William, married Lillian Moore, lives in Bloom- 

Julius Schausten was reared and educated in Bloomington and has 
been engaged in the laundry business since 1902. The Bloomington Soft 
Water Laundry is located at 407-411 South Madison Street in a modern 
brick building, 150x115 feet. The building was built in 1902 and is 
equipped with up-to-date machinery. Mr. Schausten employs about 50 
persons, several of whom have been with him for many years. His busi- 
ness is confined to Bloomington and is among the leading business enter- 
prises of the city, and Mr. Schausten has won a reputation for fairness 
both to his customers and employes. 

On Dec. 25, 1896, Mr. Schausten was married to Miss Ida Schneider, 
a native of Bloomington and the daughter of C. C. Schneider. They have 
no children. 

History of McLean County 491 

Mr. Schausten is a member of the State Laundry Association and 
belongs to the Elks Lodge. 

Milton R. Livingston, a member of the firm of A. Livingston & Sons, 
is one of the well known and successful business men of McLean County. 
He was born in Bloomington, Oct. 29, 1872, and is a son of Aaron and 
Hannah (Eliel) Livingston. 

Aaron Livingston was born in Germany and came to this country in 
1858, locating at Cincinnati, Ohio. Later he went to Fort Leavenworth. 
Kans., and at the outbreak of the Civil war enlisted in Company I, Second 
Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and served for four years as a 
corporal. Mr. Livingston came to Bloomington in 1865 where he had 
cousins living, and the following year he engaged in the dry goods busi- 
ness there. He was actively connected with this business until 1896^ 
when he retired. He died in 1903. 

A. Livingston & Sons is the oldest business establishment in Bloom- 
ington and since its organization has been in the same location where it 
was founded in the spring of 1866. It was originally a dry goods store, 
but has been enlarged from year to year until it now carries a complete 
line of women's wearing apparel, house furnishings, victrolas, etc. There 
are 175 persons employed in their store and it occupies a fine four story 
brick building on the south side of the square. 

Milton R. Livingston received his education in the public schools at 
Bloomington and when he was a boy worked in his father's store after 
school and during vacations. When he and his brothers reached the age 
of 21 years they were taken in as members of the firm, the name of 
which was then changed to A. Livingston & Sons. 

On Oct. 2, 1907, Mr. Livingston was married to Miss Florence Gries- 
heim, a native of Bloomington, and to this union two children have been 
born, A. Edward and William G. 

Mr. Livingston is president of the Bloomington Association of Com- 
merce and has been a director since its organization. He has served as 
state president of the Illinois Retail Dry Goods Association and is a mem- 
ber of the Masonic lodge, being a 32nd degree Mason, and a member of 
the Consistory and Shrine. He is also a member of the Bloomington Club 

492 History of McLean County 

and the Maplewood Country Club. Mr. Livingston is highly esteemed as 
an alert business man and an enterprising citizen. 

During the World war Mr. Livingston was very active in the Red 
Cross work and the Liberty Loan drives. He was also head of the Com- 
mercial Economy Administration of several counties in central Illinois. 

Cliff Guild, registrar, bursar and secretary of the board of trustees of 
Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, was born in Watseka, 111., 
Nov. 21, 1868, the son of Edward W. and Amanda (Foster) Guild. 

Edward W. Guild was a native of Lowell, Mass., and came to Illinois 
with his parents in 1838. They settled first in Pike County, then in 
Henry County, and in 1863 moved to Watseka. Mr. Guild was a merchant 
for many years and during the latter part of his life engaged in farming 
in Iroquois County, 111. He and his wife are now deceased. Mrs. Guild 
was born near Columbus, Ohio, and came to Illinois with her parents 
when she was very young, and they settled in Marshall County. 

Cliff Guild spent his boyhood days on his father's farm and attended 
the district schools and high school at Watseka. He also was graduated 
from Grand Prairie Seminary at Onarga, 111., and afterward attended 
Hedding College at Abingdon, 111., from which institution he was grad- 
uated in 1892 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He received his 
Master's degree at the same institution in 1895 and three years later took 
post graduate work at the University of Chicago. Mr. Guild was a mem- 
ber of the Hedding College Academy faculty as instructor in mathematics 
for three years and in 1893 was elected to the chair of mathematics in 
Hedding College, which position he resigned in the early part of 1900, 
after which he returned to Watseka and engaged in the lumber business 
with his brothers. In 1903 Mr. Guild was re-elected to his former position 
at Hedding College and remained another year, then returning again 
to the lumber business on account of his brother's failing health. On 
Jan. 2, 1905, he was elected to succeed Dr. DeMott, deceased, as the head 
of the mathematics department in Illinois Wesleyan University. He 
held that position until June, 1920, when he became secretary of the 
board of trustees of Illinois Wesleyan University and bursar and regis- 
trar of the institution, which position he still holds. 

History of McLean County 493 

On June 28, 1894, Mr. Guild married Miss Hattie C. Cross, a native 
of Chicago, who came to Illinois with her parents when she was a young 
girl. She is the daughter of Michael and Kate (Mitchinson) Cross, both 
natives of England. Mr. Cross is deceased and his widow lives at Brews- 
ter, Minn. Mrs. Guild was educated in the public schools and attended 
Grand Prairie Seminary and was graduated in the same class at Hedding 
College with her husband. She taught school for several terms before 
her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Guild two children have been born, as 
follows: Helen, a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, now married 
to Elmer R. Baum, lives in Bloomington, 111., and Doris, a member of the 
class of 1924 at Illinois Wesleyan University. 

Mr. Guild is a member of the Arts and Crafts Lodge, A. F. and A. M., 
and the College Alumni Club of Bloomington. He belongs to the Metho- 
dist Church and is a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Phi Kappa 
Phi fraternity. Mr. Guild is a man of energy, vision and ambition, and 
an invaluable asset to the institution with which he is connected and 
to the community. 

Campbell Holton, president of the Campbell Holton & Company, is a 
leading business man of McLean County. He was born at Vincennes, 
Ind., Aug. 11, 1866, and is a son of Rev. Thomas Tilghman and Ellen 
Margaret (Campbell) Holton. A sketch of Reverend Thomas T. Holton 
and his family appears elsewhere in this volume. 

Campbell Holton received his education in the public schools and 
was graduated from high school at Lincoln, 111., in 1882. When he was 
16 years old he was employed in the grocery store of C. E. Ross. Six years 
later a partnership was formed with Mr. Reynolds, which was known as 
Holton & Reynolds. In 1895 Mr. Holton came to Bloomington and was 
associated with the Humphreys & Co., until 1907. 

Campbell Holton & Company was organized in 1907 and incorporated 
for $100,000 cash paid in. Over 90 per cent of this stock was owned by 
practical men who became actively engaged in the development of the 
business. With only a few exceptions these men are the active managers, 
assisted by others who are receiving managerial education in the different 
departments. The company was organized to distribute in the most eco- 
nomical manner possible the entire line of food products and from the 
small beginning in 1907 it has developed a distribution which places it 

494 History of McLean County 

among the leading concerns of its kind in the central west. Originally- 
located in the uptown district the company moved to its present track 
location after a fire in 1911, and in this location has every facility for 
the quick and economical handling of its merchandise. Under this roof 
there are coffee roasters, sugar grinding, nut roasting, cereal and coffee 
packing machinery, all of the most modern type. Cold storage rooms 
and up to date handling and shipping equipment enables the company to 
give the very best service. 

The growth of the company has been steady year by years. Its 
proprietary brands, namely, "Happy Hour," "Camel" and "Red Mill" are 
now household words in thousands of homes. 

The Campbell Holton & Company is capitalized at $400,000. Present 
officers and directors are: Campbell Holton, president; H. W. Kelly, vice- 
president; E. M. Evans, treasurer; C. A. Stephenson, secretary; H. A. 
Florence, J. M. Waterson, C. B. Holton, A. J. Means, R. H. Norton, C. R. 
Stuckey, William Nicol and H. W. Kelly, Jr., directors. 

Campbell Holton was married to Miss Adelaide May Blake, a native 
of Clinton, 111., born in 1867, and the daughter of J. H. and Susan (Ford) 
Blake, natives of Ireland. Mr. Blake was a well known dry goods mer- 
chant at Clinton, 111., for many years. He died in 1913 and his wife 
died in 1905. To Mr. and Mrs. Holton two children have been born: 
Campbell Blake, born in 1894, associated in business with his father, and 
Ellen Margaret, born in 1904. 

Mr. Holton and his family are members of the Christian Church. He 
belongs to the Masonic lodge and Consistory of Bloomington and the 
Shrine at Peoria. 

During the World war Mr. Holton was active in Red Cross work and 
other important wartime activities. 

C. A. Stephenson, secretary and credit manager of the Campbell 
Holton Company of Bloomington, is well and favorably known through- 
out McLean County. He was born at Heyworth, 111., June 25, 1874, and 
is a son of George and Sarah Marie (VanOrdstraud) Stephenson.